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Report of the first meeting of the WHO Diagnostic Technical Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases

The first meeting of the Diagnostic Technical Advisory Group (DTAG), an advisory group to the WHO Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, was held at the Inter-Parliamentary Union in Geneva, Switzerland, on 30–31 October 2019. The meeting was opened by Dr Mwele Malecela, Director, WHO Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, who welcomed participants. She noted the importance of this inaugural meeting given that, during the process of developing the road map on neglected tropical diseases 2021–2030, it became apparent that failing to give adequate consideration to critical diagnostic needs would lead not only to the NTD community missing new targets that were being set but also to losing or compromising the gains made during the past decade. Dr Malecela also noted that the Department currently manages a diverse portfolio of 20 diseases and disease groups, each with its own unique epidemiology and diagnostic challenges. The goals associated with individual disease programmes are disease-specific – whether for control, elimination as a public health problem, elimination of transmission or eradication – but each disease poses a unique diagnostic challenge that must be addressed in order to reach the 2030 road map targets. Dr Patrick Lammie, Director, Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center, a programme of the Task Force for Global Health, was appointed Chair of the Working Group and Dr Veerle Lejon, Director of Research at Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, as vice chair. Dr Rhea Coler, Senior Vice President of Preclinical and Translational Research, Infectious Disease Research Institute, was nominated rapporteur. The meeting was attended by 10 invited experts, 17 observers and 15 staff from the WHO Secretariat (Annex 1: List of participants). The Working Group met in both plenary and breakout sessions.

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World Health Organization (WHO)
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World Health Organization
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