DOH, PDS AND WHO: Fight towards Eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases
The PDS, represented by the Chair of the Leprosy Subspecialty Core Group, Dr. Ma. Teresita Gabriel, signed in the DOH Pledge of Commitment last February 22-23, 2017 at Bayfront Hotel, Cebu City, to actively participate in activities geared towards the Control and Elimination of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs). The forum aimed to bring all stakeholders working for NTDs in the Philippines and provide a venue for coordination and updating of progress in control and elimination efforts and to open doors to possible partners. Most importantly, the forum seeks to highlight the convergence of common process, consistent and committed intra- and inter-sectoral collaboration and defining the area of complementation on NTD control and elimination initiatives.
A new diagnostic for early diagnosis of leprosy was tested. Results of the study on the Rapid Diagnostic Test for Leprosy was presented by Dr. Marivic Balagon, Executive Director of Cebu Leprosy and Tuberculosis Research Foundation. This test uses synthetic antigens PLG-1 and LID-1 to detect antibodies against M. leprae. Serum was collected from the patient and placed in a chamber. A single line is negative and a double line is positive. There were 250 subjects included in the study. The rate of specificity was 98%. For the sensitivity, paucibacillary smear negative was 44% while multibacillary smear positive was 79%. This pilot study may serve us a springboard towards broader multiregional field validation studies to confirm initial findings.