Professor Louis - Albert Tchuem Tchuenté

Prof Tchuem-Tchuenté is an Neglected Tropical Disease Ambassador for Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. He is the Director of the Centre for Schistosomiasis & Parasitology in Cameroon and is a professor of parasitology. He lectures at the University of Yaoundé I and is Country Director for the COUNTDOWN project in Cameroon. His expertise in Schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted Helminthiasis spans over 30 years. He is Programme Manager of the National Programme for the control of Schistosomiasis and Intestinal Worms at the Ministry of Health.

For over three decades he has worked in various aspects of research, epidemiology and control of schistosomiasis, STH and other neglected tropical diseases, including program development, strategic planning, program management, implementation, drug management, operational research development, leadership, administration, problem-solving, financial negotiation, community mobilization, evaluation, advocacy, fundraising, partnership development, capacity building, diplomacy and reporting. He managed more than twenty international research projects and is author of a hundred peer-reviewed scientific publications and chapters in books. He also works with the WHO Africa region and provides technical assistance to 47 countries in Sub-Saharan Africa for the development and implementation of NTD control programs.

Through his scientific discoveries, he has contributed to a better knowledge of the reproductive biology of schistosomes and its implications on the epidemiology of schistosomiasis, as well as the efficacy of treatment in mixed infections and advances in
diagnostics for schistosomiasis infections. He has demonstrated the exclusive competition among schistosomes, contributing to the discovery of a new species of human schistosome called Schistosoma guineensis. Professor Tchuem Tchuente is presently the Regional Adviser for Africa for the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene, UK.

Prof Tchuem Tchuente leads the COUNTDOWN programme in Cameroon on a national and regional level as illustrated (right)

Known for pushing the agenda be moved to elimination, Prof Tchuem-Tchuenté has engineered and fostered collaboration to stimulate discussions on finding possible solutions. This led to the China-Africa meeting on Schistosomiasis Elimination and Malacology Training, which he organised in Yaoundé-Cameroon from the 24 - 28 October 2016.

On the issue on changing the conversation from control to elimination he said:

"With this word elimination, you have to put the necessary efforts and investment to interrupt transmission. In Africa, I think the time is right to think about this and to shift completely from control to elimination. It is not easy as this will require a lot of investment but I think that this work has to start building and to raise momentum and commitment from the government, including investment. That is what the SDG is about because one of its goals is for countries to invest more for the elimination of NTDs."

He also organised the meeting in Cameroon titled: "Towards Elimination of Schistosomiasis in Cameroon: Developing a Modern National Agenda Integrating Research and Control." Through this meeting, he brought together all those working on Schistosomiasis around the country together to share knowledge and integrate approaches and lessons learned afield.