Event summary: LCNTDR and RSTMH research afternoon on disease management, disability and inclusion

09 Jun 2021

On 26 May 2021, the London Centre for NTD Research (LCNTDR) and Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene (RSTMH) co-hosted their first research afternoon titled Disease management, disability and inclusion: Why people-centred approaches are central to beating NTDs.

The event attracted over 130 attendees from more than 30 countries, bringing together stakeholders across government, third sector, academic and implementing organisations to discuss the epidemiology and impact of NTD morbidity, emphasising the underestimation of the current burden of NTDs when mental health conditions are not considered. It provided examples of people-centred and holistic approaches that address the full spectrum of prevention, treatment, rehabilitation and care.

Moderated by Julian Eaton, (Centre for Global Mental Health, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, CBM Global), the event included four presentations:

Prof. David Molyneux CMG, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, discussed the theoretical underpinnings of estimating the global burden of mental health co-morbidity and challenges associated with health-related quality of life metrics, such as disability adjusted life years. Access his presentation here.

Dr Freddie Bailey, Public Health England, spoke about the burden of psychological
co-morbidity in cutaneous leishmaniasis and the frequent underestimation of the mental health consequences of the disease. Access his presentation here.

Dr Paul Tsaku, The Leprosy Mission Nigeria, discussed transitioning from theory to practice and implementing evidence-based programmes that are person-centred in NTD programmes. His presentation drew on real work examples from The Neglected Mink Skin Link Project in Nigeria, which aims to assess the feasibility and acceptability of implementation of a model of integrated mental health care based on the

WHO Guide on Mental Health and NTD Integration. Access his presentation here.

Dr Laura Dean, Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, gave a comprehensive overview of disability inclusion and people-centred approaches to NTDs, including the global and national policy context that should be incorporated into advocacy efforts. Dr Dean spoke to the importance of maximising opportunities for policy and program reform, advocating for flexible financing, participatory health governance and recognising the broader social impact of disease. Access her presentation here.

A full recording of the research afternoon is available via YouTube.