School children with stool collection packs for clinical trial project looking into deworming program in Vietnam. Credit: Dinh Ng Nguyen

Neglected Tropical Diseases Research Group

Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) include a range of infectious conditions, and impact more than one billion people worldwide, mainly in low-income countries. They affect the poorest and most vulnerable in society and perpetuate the cycle of poverty. In our region, important NTDs include worms that cause anaemia and impair childhood development; trachoma that leads to blindness; and scabies that causes relentless itching, leading to serious bacterial infections where the skin is broken.

The focus of the NTDs Research group is to conduct research that can lead to the improvement of current strategies for control and elimination of these diseases. To achieve that goal, we lead large-scale community-based intervention studies as well as epidemiological surveys and monitoring and evaluation. Additionally, we complement our epidemiological research with health-economics analysis and social sciences research. Our research is done in collaboration with the Ministry of Health of the countries where our studies take place, and a range of Australian and international academic partners. We are currently leading and collaborating on projects in the Asia-Pacific region (Vietnam, Timor-Leste, Solomon Islands, Fiji, Nauru and Vanuatu), Africa (Angola), and Australia.