Jakarta (08/11). SEAMEO RECFON in collaboration with the London Center for Neglected Tropical Disease Research, Royal Veterinary College, University of London (LCNTDR, RVC) organized an international webinar on “Neglected Tropical Disease and Stunting” in a hybrid format at the SEAMEO RECFON Office as well as through the Zoom Meeting platform on 8 November 2023.
The webinar was attended by more than 80 participants from various countries including Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines, Myanmar, Philippines, Bangladesh, Iran, and Uganda. The resource persons of this webinar were Prof. Joanne Webster (Director of LCNTDR, RVC, University of London), Ms. Isobel Gabain (Research Team, Action Against Stunting Hub), and CMC Vellore Team. The webinar session was moderated by Dr. Min Kyaw Htet (Workstream Lead for Physical Component, Action Against Stunting Hub-Indonesia).
As the opening remarks, Dr. Zainun Misbah, Acting Director of SEAMEO RECFON, said that SEAMEO RECFON is committed to strengthen capacity in addressing undernutrition problem, including stunting, through training, research, community development and information dissemination.
“Today’s webinar highlights the neglected tropical disease research done at LCNTDR and parasitology works in the AASH study, as well as the detection and quantification of helminth and protozoa infections. These topics are very important to improve our understanding on the relationship between parasite infections and stunting,” said Dr. Zainun.
In her presentation, Prof. Joanne Webster explained the topic of Neglected Tropical Disease Research at LCNTDR. Prof. Webster said that, “We work together by bringing the leading experts to tackle NTDs (Neglected Tropical Diseases) to support the London Declaration in collaboration with the National History Museum, Royal Veterinary College University of London, London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Imperial College London.”
The next presentation was Ms. Isobel Gabain, who delivered a topic on the Parasitology Workstream in Action Against Stunting Hub. Ms. Isobel said that maternal infection is a key risk factor of childhood stunting. “Maternal deworming or maternal helminth infection is associated with the proportion of low-birth-weight-babies. The prevalence of low-birth-weight babies, as well as child deworming will give impact on the proportion of childhood stunting,” said Ms. Isobel.
CMC Vellore Team presented an interesting topic on the Application of Advanced Molecular Techniques of qPCR for Neglected Tropical Disease and Its Data Management. This technique has more sensitive, specific, and efficient DNA-based diagnostics with 2-3 fold increase in detection rates but demonstration at-scale in endemic setting needed.
The webinar was part of a series of hands-on training activities on the topic “qPCR Analysis for Helminth and Protozoa Infections” which was held from November 8-10, 2023, at the Oral Biology Laboratory, Faculty of Dentistry, Universitas Indonesia.