The 14th Annual Workshop of the Regional Network on Asian Schistosomiasis and Other Helminth Zoonosis (RNAS+ )

IBP International Center

Borgor, Indonesai, 13-15 October, 2014

Traditionally, the annual workshop of the Regional Network on Asian Schistosomiasis and Other Helminth Zoonosis (RNAS+) is held based on the currently challenges and research priorities on the field of schistosomiasis and other helminth zoonosis in the region. All the key scientists in the region as well as well-known international experts from Europe will attend the workshop, along with one-day training activity. Since 2013, Myanmar representative also participated annual workshop which added one more member country in South East Region under the framework of RNAS+.

Foodborne trematode infections affect more than 56 million people throughout the world. People become infected through the consumption of raw or poorly cooked fish, crustaceans and vegetables that harbour the minute larval stages of the parasites, of which the most common species affecting people are Clonorchis, Opisthorchis, Fasciola and Paragonimus. Recently, more emerging or re-emerging food-borne parasitic diseases occurred in Southeast Asia frequently. For instance, outbreaks of agiostrogyliasis happened in Yunnan, China in 2008 and 2010, respectively. The first outbreak of facioliasis due to consumption of raw plant infected with Faciola gigantica occurred in Yunnan, China in early 2012.

More research activities focus on the surveillance and response to the emerging or re-emerging parasitic diseases by using trans-disciplinary approaches in collaboration with multi-sectors are implemented in the Southeast Asia. For example, under the framework of the RNAS+, a multi-countries EcoHealth project entitled “ Innovative Strategies for Sustainable Control of Asian Schistosomiasis and Other Helminth Zoonoses through Socio-Ecosystem-Based Interventions” have been finished with the support from IDRC, Canada, in collaboration among scientists from 6 countries, including Cambodia, China, Lao PDR, Phillipines, Thailand, Vietnam, which cross two WHO regions, namely WPRO and SERO.

Under the WHO roadmap of controlling the neglect tropical diseases (NTDs), schistosomiasis will be eliminated as a public health problem by 2020 in endemic countries of WPRO region. Therefore, the challenges and strategies to achieve this goal from different countries, including Cambodia, China, Indonesia, Lao PDR, and Philippines, are imperative to discuss with more actions.

With the development of RNAS+ which is serving a platform to coordinate the activities in control and research on the neglected tropical diseases since 1998, the current challenges in schistosomiasis elimination and food-borne parasitic diseases with their integrated strategies as well as the research progress on EcoHealth project are will be delivered or explored in the 14th Annual Workshop of RNAS+. The annual workshop is proposed to be held in IBP International Center, Borgor, Indonesai on 13-15 October, 2014, with the main purpose to:

  1. Present the final research results of EcoHealth targeted diseases, including schistosomiasis, clomorchiasis, opisthorchiasis, fascioliasis, cysticercosis, and agiostragyliasis,
  2. Discuss on the implementation research needs in schistosomiasis elimination in 5 targeted countries
  3. One-day training on epidemiological studies supported by modeling approaches, and
  4. Discuss on the RNAS+ research workplan/action plan next year.

More than 30 participants from the RNAS+ member countries in the two regions, including Cambodia, China, Japan, Indonesia, Korea, Lao PDR, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, will participate the workshop, those international advisors from Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Australia, USA, and UK will also attend the workshop (Appendix 4).  We are expecting those officers or experts from WHO HQ, WPRO, SERO, and TDR, IDRC, CIDA, AusAID and Asia Development Bank will attend the workshop as well.

It is a good time for the workshop to be held in Indonesia since Indonesia is a country where schistosomiasis, foodborne trematode infections (fascioliasis) and cysticercosis are important public health problems. Particularly schistosomiasis has been scheduled to be  eliminated as public health problem by 2016. Thus, holding RNAS+ meeting in Indonesia will give more attention to these diseases control and elimination, and also promote more scientific collaboration between researchers and control authorities from the other countries in the region with the Indonesia’s scientists.

The tentative agenda for the workshop is designed for three days. In the first day, more than 10 presentations on the epidemiological updated information will be invited, with focus on the results from the final results of the IDRC grated EcoHealth project. In the second day, a training course on modern epidemiological tools of parasitic infections will be given with a practice for half day. In the third day, a round-table discussion will be arranged to focus on the model of network and capacity building in the NTD in the region, particularly on the integrated strategy of schistosomias elimination as well as how scaling  up the intervention strategy of the IDRC project in the region, integrated with the local surveillance system and control programme. 

Files of 14th RNAS+. Please click to download.

  1. The Concept Notes of 14th annual workshop RNAS