Trans-disciplinary Research for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis: The Way Forward
by: Professor Dr. Subhada Prasad Pani MBBS, MD, PhD, FISCD
Faculty of Medicine
DATE: 20 December, 2012 (Thursday)
VENUE: Lecture Room 2&3, Third Floor, QIUP, Plaza Teh Teng Seng
Lymphatic filariasis is a neglected tropical parasitic infectious disease targeted for global elimination by the year 2020. The road map for global elimination of this disease which has remained a cause for social scourge, global economic loss and family & personal suffering was first presented in Malaysia in 1994 and is being revised in 2012 under the auspices of the Global Alliance for Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (GEALF). In the backdrop of this global movement there have been great efforts in biomedical research, global political commitment and a revolution in developing and implementation of global partnership. The core biomedical research was supported greatly by a multidisciplinary research approach. Relevant research on clinical epidemiology, aetiology-pathogenesis of disease, socio-economic studies, clinical trials, newer diagnostics, rapid assessment procedures, rapid epidemiological mapping, community advocacy & social mobilization, intervention strategy including transmission control and morbidity management, monitoring and evaluation methods, healthcare information management, mathematical modelling etc. have been responsible for the rapid progress and have paved the way towards possible elimination of this social scourge. This presentation will focus on this trans-disciplinary approach for disease elimination. The story of the war against this disease from 1985 till 2012 has taught an important lesson: we must ask the right questions first and then the research needed must be done irrespective of the field or discipline that has to be involved. Basic strategic research, product development and applied field research must always go hand-in-hand.