Blog posts

Blog posts

Over COUNTDOWN’s 7-year lifetime we have so far published over 150 blog posts, all of which can be found below. These posts range in subject area and style but each one tells a story- whether that be about COUNTDOWN work, events and meetings, changes in the NTD landscape or progress in the fight against NTDs.




4th January Safety Vs. Comfort: Control of COVID-19 in Ghana Faisal Nuru Ahmed


24th November Scaling up the context-specific, inclusive approaches to planning and implementation of equitable MAM: a case study from Kaduna and Ogun, Nigeria Mobolanle Surakat, James Yashiyi, Akinola Oluwole, Noela Gwani, Helen Piotrowski and Kim Ozano

3rd November Increased community sensitisation for mass administration of medicine: Unintentional outcomes of COUNTDOWN participatory action research in Ogun, Nigeria Mobolanle Surakat, James Yashiyi, Akinola Oluwole, Helen Piotrowski and Kim Ozano.

8th October Building Resilience for Mass Administration of Medicines through capacity strengthening of NTD implementers: Learning from COUNTDOWN’s implementation research in Nigeria Noela Gwani, Akinola Oluwole, Helen Piotrowski, Samson Ayuba, James Nuphi Yashiyi, Mobolanle Surakat and Kim Ozano.

28th July Working together- developing an integrated intervention manual for skin neglected tropical diseases Luret Lar, Cynthia Umunnakwe, Dupe Yahemba, Stephen Haruna, Sefiat Lawal, Olaitan Omitola, Jehoshapat Albarka, Shahreen Chowdhury, Kelly Smyth, Laura Dean, and Rachael Thomson. Nigeria FMoH, Kaduna & Ogun States NTD and TB, Buruli ulcer and Leprosy Control Programme

8th June Reflections on post-graduate student experiences of cross-disciplinary research Carrie Barrett, Bea Egid and Yaimie López

26th May Learning and interacting with students worldwide James Nuphi Yashiyi

26th April Reflections on using body mapping as a participatory process with people living with lifelong morbidities and disabilities due to NTDs in Liberia Georgina V. K. Zawolo, Motto Nganda, Alice Perkins and Laura Dean

30th March Development of Annual Operational Plan for the Health intervention programme in Ogun State: A key step in Health governance and health system strengthening Akinola Oluwole

24th March 'There is a story behind every picture': Photovoice training and data collection amidst COVID-19 Cynthia Umunnakwe, Temitope Olorunfemi, Dupe Yahemba, Adekunle David, Stephen Haruna, Linda Dubukumah, Victor Dalumo, Shahreen Chowdhury


13th August Moving forward with the battle against NTDs during COVID-19: Lessons and reflections on the COUNTDOWN blog series Kelly Smyth, Helen Piotrowski, Shahreen Chowdhury and Motto Nganda on behalf of the COUNTDOWN consortium

6th August 'This too shall pass'- A conversation between frontline health implementers in Nigeria and Liberia during COVID-19 Luret Lar and Karsor Kollie on behalf of the COUNTDOWN consortium

31st July Impact of COVID-19 on NTD-related activities: COUNTDOWN consortium in Ghana reflect on key learnings and future opportunities (a conversation with Prof Mike Osei-Atweneboana and Dr Samuel Armoo) Motto Nganda on behalf of the COUNTDOWN consortium

28th July COVID-19: The shifting impact on researchers and the NTD programmes Georgina Zawolo and Noela Gwani on behalf of the COUNTDOWN consortium

21st July "COVID-19 has made it so difficult to plan": Perspectives on Research Activities and Daily Life from Liberia and Nigeria Akinola Oluwole and Anthony Bettee on behalf of the COUNTDOWN consortium

15th July A Conversation with Professor Wanji, University of Buea, Cameroon Theresa Hoke on behalf of the COUNTDOWN consortium

14th July COVID-19 and COUNTDOWN NTD Field Activities: 5 Key Learnings from Field Researchers in Liberia and Nigeria Gartee Nallo, Josephine Adejobi and Victoria Olanike Fapohunda on behalf of the COUNTDOWN consortium

9th July COVID-19 Pandemic: Does 'fake news' aid the spread of COVID-19? James Yashiyi and Alice Siakeh Perkins on behalf of the COUNTDOWN consortium

8th July A Day in the Life Samson Ayuba

6th July Integrated case management team: did the Covid-19 pandemic build and strengthen our capacity for future data analysis? Luret Lar, Dupe Yahemba, Olusegun Victor Dalumo, Shahreen Chowdhury, Laura Dean and Kelly Smyth

2nd July A Day in the Life Adeleke Adedeji

30th June Stepping stones method: A participatory research method to understand health care pathways for Female Genital Schistosomiasis in Nigeria Victoria O. Fapohunda, Josephine Adejobi, Helen Piotrowski, Tiff Dahmash, Kim Ozano, Rachael Thomson and Akinola Oluwole

24th June COUNTDOWN reflects on key learnings from four years of supporting NTD activities in Liberia Alice Perkins, Georgina Zawolo, Kelly Smyth, Motto Nganda and Laura Dean

22nd June A Day in the Life Ayuba Enoch McRae

18th June A Day in the Life Noela Gwani

15th June COUNTDOWN LIBERIA TAKE ON A NEW CHALLENGE: Participatory Development of an Intervention to address FEMALE GENITAL SCHISTOSOMIASIS (FGS) and support health systems strengthening Anthony Bettee, Motto Nganda, Rachael Thomson, Laura Dean, Karsor Kollie and Kelly Smyth

12th June Death, dignity and palliative care during a pandemic Shahreen Chowdhury on behalf of the COUNTDOWN consortium

11th June The adaptation of Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) platfoms in the response to COVID-19 Shahreen Chowdhury on behalf of the COUNTDOWN consortium

10th June Short- and Long-term impacts of COVID-19 on communities affected by NTDs (including impacts on vulnerable communities and community perceptions of COVID-19) Helen Piotrowski and Motto Nganda on behalf of the COUNTDOWN consortium

9th June COUNTDOWN researcher challenges during COVID-19 imposed 'lockdown' Motto Nganda on behalf of the COUNTDOWN consortium

8th June NTDs and Covid-19: what did we learn from our partner cross-country meeting? Helen Piotrowski on behalf of the COUNTDOWN consortium

3rd June Gender and Disease Outbreaks- Time for action- Lessons from NTDs Kim Ozano, Laura Dean, Julie Irving, Rachael Thomson, Sally Theobald, Mariam Otmani, Olumide Ohundahunsi, Chandani Kharel and Mami Yoshimura

18th May COUNTDOWN Liberia's Implementation Research Cycle: Moving ahead with the announcement of our extension Georgina V Kparteh Zawolo, Kelly Smyth, Motto Nganda and Laura Dean

17th April The Virtue of Virtual Training:  Reflections on Photovoice. Shahreen Chowdhury, Oluwatosin Adekeye, Ayuba McRae, Adeleke Adedeji and Laura Dean

27th March The human need for storytelling Kelly Smyth

16 March Whose research is it? Power, authority and voice Shahreen Chowdhury and Helen Piotrowski

12 March World NTD Day: Three million persons at risk in Ogun as COUNTDOWN lends support James Yashiyi, Mobolanle Surakat, Akinola Oluwole, Luret Lar, Sunday Isiyaku and Rachael Thomson

20 January 12 Days of NTDs Shahreen Chowdhury, Laura Dean, Martins Imhansoloeva, Ruth Dixon, Catherine Kajang, Margo Greenwood and Christian Okwananke


10 October  Reflecting on the power dynamics between researchers and vulnerable communities: A Ghana Case Scenario  Pamela Emefa Selormey

03 October  From 'shiny hospitals' to equitable access to NTD Services and the road to Universal Health Coverage Shahreen Chowdhury & Kelly Smyth

14 May Health for all at Universal Health Coverage 2030 (UHC2030) Dr Rachael Thomson

16 April Societal Influences on NTD Programme Success: Reflections of a Four-Country Panel Dr Theresa Hoke

11 March Research to Practice: COUNTDOWN Findings lead to improved Community Awareness for Neglected Tropical Diseases in Nigeria  James Nuphi Yashiyi, Victoria Lebrun, COUNTDOWN Nigeria team

8 March Working to eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases for a "Better Balance, Better World" Prof Sally Theobald, Pamela Bongkiyung, Laura Dean

4 March Highlighting New Paradigms for fighting Neglected Tropical Diseases Prof Russell Stothard, Prof Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté, Ruth Dixon, Luret Lar, Rachael Thomson, Laura Dean, Tori LeBrun, Theresia Hoke

26 February Religious practices and Neglected Tropical Diseases: What is the connection? Dr Samuel Armoo 

1 February Albendazole for lymphatic filariasis... direct hit or misfire? Cara MacFarlane

25 January Towards LF Elimination: Are drugs all that is needed? Irene Honam Tsey


05 November Inclusion, integration and sustainability: Towards the Endgame of Neglected Tropical Diseases Laura Dean, Sharon Ngang & Pamela Bongkiyung

22 August Understanding what helps and hinders cross-departmental collaboration in the health sector: Experience from the Liberia NTD Programme Alice Perkins, Research Manager COUNTDOWN Liberia, Laura Dean, Georgina Zawolo, Anthony Bettee, Karsor Kollie and Sally Theobald

17 August COUNTDOWN at the 15th International Symposium on Schistosomiasis, Brazil Professor Russ Stothard & Professor Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté

23 July Demonstrating Impact in Participatory Health Research: Reflections of engaging with participatory health researchers from around the globe Kim Ozano

18 June Engaging in multisectoral collaboration and fostering partnerships: Participatory action research to improve equity and efficiency of health service delivery in Nigeria Luret Lar, Ruth Dixon, Laura Dean, Kim Ozano, Sunday Isiyaku, Sally Theobald, Theresa Hoke 

14 May Science communication in a changing technological landscape: COUNTDOWN at the ISNTD festival Pamela Bongkiyung

10 May How do STH control programmes move forward? By balancing guidelines and recommendations for future proofing on-the-ground experiences!  Russell Stothard

03 April COUNTDOWN’s research and stakeholder engagement approach: reflections from an interactive panel Sally Theobald, Margaret Gyapong,Theresa Hoke

12 March COUNTDOWN at the Royal College of Pathologists: Emerging and Neglected Tropical Infections  Russell Stothard

 08 March Press Play for Women Pushing For Progress on Global Health  Pamela Bongkiyung, Sally Theobald, Julie Irving, Rachael Thomson, Eleanor MacPherson

12 February Don’t Be Alone, Don’t Be Afraid: Partnerships Fostered Between the NTD Programme and Communities in Liberia Karsor Kollie, Laura Dean, Anna Wickenden, Sally Theobald  


11 December Swiss TPH Winter Symposium 2107: Helminth infection – from transmission to control Russell Stothard

16 November Mind the Gap: Lessons from over two decades in Gender Mainstreaming on NTDs Sally Theobald, Pamela Bongkiyung, Laura Dean

13 November Impact of NTDs: Beyond the Patients Maureen Ayuk Tembei, Sally Theobald, Russell Stothard, Samuel Wanji

25 October Developing the Multi-disciplinarity of Parasitology, by taking three-steps at a time Lucas Cunningham, Louise Hamill, Zikmund Bartoníček, Lisa Reimer, Louis-Albert Tchuem-Tchuenté, David Molyneux, Mark Taylor, Russ Stothard

15 October It is Global Handwashing Day! What does this mean for Neglected Tropical Diseases? Pamela Bongkiyung, Russell Stothard, Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté

21 September Let’s Move the Agenda from Control to Elimination of NTDs Louis Albert Tchuem Tchuenté, Pamela Bongkiyung, Russell Stothard

8 September Going with the Flow: Local learning about rivers to implement ground larviciding for community-based control of river blindness Samuel Wanji, Peter Enyong, Andrew Amuam, Relindis Ekanya, Louise Hamill, Joe Turner

5 September Tackling the Lack of Uniformity in Schistosomiasis Transmission  Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté, Pamela Bongkiyung, Russell Stothard

29 August China and Africa Join Forces in fight to Eliminate Schistosomiasis Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté, Pamela Bongkiyung, Russell Stothard

15 August  Putting COUNTDOWN Vector Control Activities in the Spotlight at ISNTD Bites 2017 Louise Hamill, Russell Stothard

8 August When to Give or Not Give Incentives: A Researcher’s Reflection on Incentives in the Field   Irene Honam Tsey

24 July Creating Impactful Posters: Hot Tips from the COUNTDOWN Consortium  COUNTDOWN Research Uptake Team, the COUNTDOWN Consortium

8 May Integration as the next step in controlling Neglected Tropical Diseases  Suzy Campbell

3 May COUNTDOWN Consortium: Sharing Learning on using a Multidisciplinary Approach to the Study of Neglected Tropical Diseases and Contributing to Policy Change for NTDs Control  Akinola Oluwole, Kabiru Salami, Luret Lar, Solomon Jacob, Ndelle, Obiageli Nebe, Pamela Bongkiyung

27 April Ensuring Onchocerciasis Control is more than just “Skin Deep” by Ending the Neglect of Onchodermatitis Louise Hamill, Michele Murdoch, Mathias Esum, Jerome Fru, Samuel Teghen, Ernestine Wasso, Anicetus Suireng, Peter Enyong, Mark Taylor, Joseph Turner, Samuel Wanji

25 April The World NTD Summit Highlights & Schistosomiasis Discussions Russell Stothard 

12 April COUNTDOWN Nigeria: A Model for Conducting Implementation Research Dr Obiageli Nebe, Phillip Okefu Okoko, Ruth Dixon, Laura Dean

6 April COUNTDOWN Launched in Nigeria! Pamela Bongkiyung, Russell Stothard, COUNTDOWN Nigeria Team

10 March Using Polio Samples to Assess Schistosomiasis and Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis Prevalence in Ghana Lucas Cunningham

1 March An African Focus at the 2017 GCID Infectious Diseases Symposium, Seoul Russell Stothard

28 Feb Integrated preventive chemotherapy and WASH for intensified schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthiasis control Suzy Campbell

15 January Environmental surveillance of schistosomiasis in 'end game' interventions Russell Stothard


8 December Neglected tropical diseases: Getting “lost in the WASH” no longer!  Suzy Campbell, Nana-Kwadwo Biritwum

2 December WHO-Geneva: Control and Elimination of Schistosomiasis and Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis Russell Stothard

23 November Indigenous knowledge and Intersectionality: “Incremental radicalism” and Frontline Health Workers Sally Theobald, RinGS, REACHOUT, ReBUILD, COUNTDOWN

11 November How to involve key stakeholders and adapt to the local rhythm: Lessons from the western region Ghana Irene Tsey

9 November Molecular tools for Helminth control and elimination: Time to get them out of the laboratory, into programmes and policies? Corrado Minetti 

27 October Empowering the NTD workforce- highlighting community drug distributors Pamela Bongkiyung and Sally Theobald

23 October Countdown launched at 9th Mano River Union meeting on Neglected Tropical Diseases Russell Stothard

12 October Multidisciplinary research at the foothills of a live volcano Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté

7 October Spaces of evidence: Evidence and organisations in development Russell Stothard

26 September Countdown goes down under for ICTMM 2016 Russell Stothard

14 September Onchocerciasis in three decades part II: Building the next generation of parasitologists Samuel Wanji and Pamela Bongkiyung

9th September Onchocerciasis in three decades: through the lens of Prof. Samuel Wanji Samuel Wanji and Pamela Bongkiyung

13 August The importance of team work and shared learning in collaborative interntional health research Eleanor MacPherson

3 August Old dog, new tricks? Assessing the potential of integrating focal vector suppression with drug cure to control and eliminate river blindness Louise Hamill

1 August NTDs training for Journalists: Increasing media coverage for better advocacy on NTDs control Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté

22 July A bed net to rule them all: Accelerating Lymphatic Filariasis elimination through Malaria control programmes Corrado Minetti

12 July Patience and prior knowledge: simple requirements for schistosomiasis Suzy Campbell

1 July A centenary of Robert T.Leiper's lasting legacy on schistosomiasis and a COUNTDOWN on control of Neglected Tropical Diseases Russell Stothard et al.

28 June Anyone's Disease: Ending Lymphatic Filariasis in Ghana Adriana Opong

20 June Future directions in neglected tropical diseases Eleanor MacPherson

15 June The expanded special project for elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (ESPEN): new directions, new opportunities Sally Theobald and Ifeoma Anagbogu

14 June Control of schistosomiassis in Cameroon: Searching for evidence Russell Stothard and Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté

14 June What does it take to control neglected tropical diseases? Part three: eliminating lymphatic filariasis Linda Waldman

8 June What does it take to control neglected tropical diseases? Part two: controlling buruli ulcer Linda Waldman

1 June What does it take to eradicate neglected tropical diseases? Linda Waldman

28 May Evaluating the level of transmission of schistosomiasis and the efficacy of praziquantel treatment Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté

24 May Launch of expanded special project for elimination of NTDs (ESPEN), Geneva, 23rd May 2016 Russ Stothard and Sally Theobald 

9 May Positive experiences in multisectoral engagement for NTDs- Ghana, Cameroon, Liberia and Nigeria Suzy Campbell, Corrado Minetti and Margaret Gyapong

6 May Introducing Countdown's newest partner: UL-PIRE

25 April Building links with Polio surveillance in Ghana Lucas Cunningham

22 April COUNTDOWN Annual Meeting: Looking at progress made thus far Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté

8 April Learning from the Neglected Tropical Disease NGDO network Suzy Campbell

21 March Practical training in molecular DNA diagnostics Russell Stothard et al

14 MarchThe importance of good preparation in quality clinical diagnostics 

17 February Countdown on diagnostics for Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis and Schistosomiasis in Ghana Russell Stothard

28 January Launch of the Ross fund at LSTM Russell Stothard

11 January A Scottish encounter with tropical diseases Russell Stothard

7 January Come see Countdown at the Prince Mahidol award conference 


18 December Russell Stothard to speak at the Glasgow encounters with tropical disease conference

7 December 4th Angolan conference on science and technology 

1 December How can we make universal health coverage truly universal? Equity, gender, disability and NTDs Russell Stothard and Kate Hawkins

12 November From PK-PD to Countdown: Multidisciplinary studies on Schistosomiasis in Africa

2 November Update from coalition for operational research on neglected tropical diseases and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Conferences Russell Stothard

27 October Some reflections on #wormwars from a communications perspective Kate Hawkins

27 October The official launch of the Countdown programme in Ghana Adriana Opong

20 October Countdown at COR-NTDs and the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene Conference Russell Stothard

19 October "Replacing the lid on this can of worms" is not an option we should want or hope to achieve" Mark Taylor

16 October Countdown launched in Cameroon on the 9th October 2015 Russell Stothard

14 October Countdown at WHO: The treatment gap in young children with Schistosomiasis Russell Stothard

9 October COUNTDOWN Project launches in Cameroon Louis-Albert Tchuem Tchuenté

24 September We're expanding our programme and partnerships in Nigeria!

17 September Fostering multidisciplinary partnerships: Illuminating the "elephant in the dark" Sally Theobald

14 September Social science and Neglected Tropical Diseases in Cameroon- so what? Samantha Page et al

7 September Interested in how to build capacity in research programmes? Kate Hawkins

4 September Co-infections: Impact on Neglected Tropical Diseases Kate Hawkins

4 September Defining Lyphatic Filariasis hotspots in Ghana Lisa Reimer

20 August A research update on schistosomiasis for Countdown Russell Stothard

18 August The Ebola outbreak and the wider health system: Understanding impact and the way forward in Liberia Laura Dean et al

27 July Work on Neglected Tropical Diseases in Brazil provides lessons for the Africa region Russell Stothard

16 July New article in open democracy #NTDs #Schisto Kate Hawkins

15 June The Neglected Tropical Disease hotspot puzzle requires multidisciplinary investigation Sally Theobald et al

12 June Hot topics in Schistosomiasis 

13 May The history of innovation in Neglected Tropical Diseases: Some useful points from Jurg Utzinger Rossely Paulo

16 April Looking back and looking forward: what we learnt from the NTD day Sally Theobald

19 March Question time on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs): The Countdown has begun! Susie Crossman

14 March Countdown launches in Liverpool with a special guest from Liberia by @Sci_NTDs Alan Fenwick, Imperial College

13 March Official Countdown launch Julie Irving

8 March Countdown in Nigeria Russell Stothard

20 February Beyond 2020: A discussion on Neglected Tropical Diseases at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, London Russell Stothard

20 February "The final mile is often the most difficult one": Launch of the third WHO report on Neglected Tropical Diseases Kate Hawkins, Pamoja Communications

16 February Schisto-so-what? The importance of careful language when talking across sectors Kate Hawkins

12 February Neglected Tropical Diseases: Influence, impact and engagement Julie Irving, Sally Theobald and Kate Hawkins

10 February Countdown in WHO: Discussing new diagnostics for Schistosomiasis control Russell Stothard

5 February Schistosomiasis: We need to treat younger and better Amaya Bustinduy 

3 February How can learning from Lymphatic Filariasis help guide advocacy for Female Genital Schistosomiasis? Margaret Gyapong

2 February Female Genital Schistosomiassis and its impact on HIV: Round up of day 2 Kate Hawkins

31 January Countdown in South Africa- New friendships, thoughts and directions Russell Stothard

29 January Female Genital Schistosomiasis and its impact on HIV: Round up of day 1 Kate Hawkins

29 January Tailoring Mass drug administration to at risk communities Alan Fenwick, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, Imperial College London

19 January Neglected Tropical Diseases: Time for a fresh approach Sally Theobald

19 January Calling Time on Urogenital Schistosomiasis Sally Theobald

19 January Countdown Research calls 'time' on Neglected Tropical Diseases