An international colloquium on Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) was held at the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS) during February 25 – 26, 2014.
The two-day colloquium was organized in association with the Indian Council of Medical Research, Kerala State Council for Science, Technology, & Environment and Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases.
“The neglected tropical diseases comprises of 17 diseases, majority of which are of high relevance to Kerala and India as a whole. Dengue, filariasis, soil-transmitted helminthes, trachoma, rabies, snakebites, etc are causing considerable concern to the common man,” stated Dr. K. N. Panicker, Emeritus Professor at the Department of Community Medicine, Amrita School of Medicine.
The colloquium was of high international standard and took many far reaching decisions. Though there are programs against NTDs, they are carried out in isolation. All NTDs which have local relevance have to be clubbed and controlled, this was one of the major recommendations of the colloquium.
The second decision was a national chapter should be formed that in collaboration with Global Network of Neglected Tropical Diseases involving all agencies working for the control of these diseases taking guidance from experts in India and abroad who are all part of the colloquium or outside having similar interest. It was also decided that Amrita should take the lead in the formation and implementation of this chapter as this reputed Institution has a strong commitment to the welfare of the poor and prevention of such diseases affecting them.
The colloquium was attended by experts from United Kingdom, Germany, Singapore, Ethiopia, Netherlands, etc besides national program directors, UNICEF chief academicians from medical colleges and representatives from national and international NGOs.
The experts include:-
- Dr. Claire Fuller, Vice-chair, International Foundation for Dermatology, United Kingdom.
- Annelies Wilder-Smith, Professor, Infectious Diseases Research, Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
- Dr. Asrat Hailu, Professor, Addis Ababa Medical University, Ethiopia.
- Ms. Tanja Ahlin, Medical Anthropologist, University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
- Dr. Satish Kumar, Chief UNICEF, Kerala and Tamil Nadu.
- Dr. R. Rajendran, Dy. Director, National Centre for Disease Control, Chertala, Kerala.
- Dr. P. Jambulingam, Director, Vector Control Research Centre, Pondicherry.
- Dr. Showkath Ali, Director, CLTRI, Chennai.
February 27, 2014