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Final Dissemination Meeting of the SPEAK India Consortium

Contributions of the Operational Research Programme Towards Sustainable Elimination of Visceral Leishmaniasis (VL) in India 

The VL Consortium ‘Setting the Post Elimination Agenda for Kala-Azar in India (SPEAK-India) was launched by the Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR) in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare (MOHFW), Directorate of National Vector Borne Disease Control Programme (NVBDCP), London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine (LSHTM) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (BMGF) on 3 – 5 November 2016 in New Delhi.

The aim was to identify and define the key questions, knowledge gaps and data needs that should be addressed for the VL elimination goal to be achieved and sustained, in the future. Subsequently, four operational research projects addressing the cross-cutting themes of surveillance, transmission, health systems and mathematical modelling were launched in 2018.

It gives us great pleasure to inform you that this research is nearing completion. 

The purpose of our final meeting, to be held virtually on 21 and 22 September 2021, is to disseminate the research findings of the SPEAK consortium to major stakeholders engaged with the implementation of the VL elimination programme. The event will also be an opportunity to discuss future needs. 

Programme Day 1 - 21 September 2021

Please note that the time listed in the programme is in India time (BST=-4.5hr, i.e. 14.00 India time = 09.30 BST)

14.00-14.50: Session 1 - Welcome and Introduction 

Chair: Professor Mary Cameron, SPEAK India PI

  • 14.00-14.05: Introduction, Mary Cameron  
  • 14.05-14.15: Opening remarks
  • 14.15-14.30: Keynote: Achieving and sustaining the elimination target in India, Dr Neeraj Dhingra Director, NVBDCP  
  • 14.30-14.40: WHO oversight on regional elimination, Dr Suman Rijal, WHO SEARO   
  • 14.40-14.50: Overview of SPEAK India and meeting objectives, Mary Cameron  
14.50-15.50: Session 2 - Surveillance: measurement of human experience of infection 

Chair: Professor Shyam Sundar, SPEAK India Expert Steering Group; Rapporteur: OP Singh  

  • 14.50-15.10: Overview of Surveillance programme activities by NVBDCP, Dr Dhingra/Dr Nupur Roy  
  • 15.10-15.40: SPEAK Surveillance project activities, OP Singh/Epco Hasker/Kristien Cloots/Rian Snijders/Shyam Sundar  
  • 15.40-15.50: Discussion: Comment and policy implications of the findings, Dr Dhingra/Dr Nupur Roy/ State Programme Officers  
16.00-16.50: Session 3 - Xenomonitoring: defining endpoints of transmission by measuring Leishmania donovani infection in Phlebotomus argentipes sandflies 

Chair: Dr Krishna Pandey, SPEAK India Expert Steering Group; Rapporteur: Miguella Mark-Carew

  • 16.00-16.30: SPEAK Xenomonitoring project activities, Vijay Kumar/Krishna Pandey/Pradeep Das/Miguella Mark-Carew/Kundan Kumar/Shannon McIntyre/ Susana Campino/Ashish Kumar/Emily Nightingale/Mojca Kristan/Giorgia Dalla Libera Marchiori/Matthew Rogers/ Mary Cameron  
  • 16.30-16.50: Discussion - Comment and policy implications of the findings, Dr Dhingra/Dr Nupur Roy/ State Programme Officers  

Programme Day 2 - 22 September 2021

Please note that the time listed in the programme is in India time (BST=-4.5hr, i.e. 14.00 India time = 09.30 BST)

14.00-14.50: Session 4 - Health Systems: finding and treating VL post-elimination

Chair: Dr Devadasan, SPEAK India Expert Steering Group; Rapporteur: Vaibhav Agavane

  • 14.00-14.30: SPEAK Health Systems project activities, Vaibhav Agavane, Amresh Kumar, Niyamat Ali Siddiqui, Karuna Sagili, Tanmay Mahapatra, Prabhas Kumar Mishra, Dr N Devadasan  
  • 14.30-14.50: Discussion: Comment and policy implications of the findings, Dr Dhingra/Dr Nupur Roy/ State Programme Officers  
15.00-15.50: Session 5 - Mathematical Modelling

 Chair: Dr Purushothaman Jambulingam, ICMR; Rapporteur: Emily Nightingale

  • 15.00-15.30: SPEAK Mathematical Modelling project activities, Subramanian Swaminathan, Ashwani Kumar, Adi Srividya, Purushothaman Jambulingam, Emily Nightingale, Lloyd Chapman, Graham Medley  
  • 15.30-15.50: Discussion: Comment and policy implications of the findings, Dr Dhingra/Dr Nupur Roy/ State Programme Officers  
16.00-17.00: Session 6 - Reflections on SPEAK India Programme

 Chair: Dr Neeraj Dhingra

  • 16.00-16.05: Rapporteur Surveillance, OP Singh  
  • 16.05-16.10: Rapporteur Xenomonitoring, Miguella Mark-Carew  
  • 16.10-16.15: Rapporteur Health Systems, Vaibhav Agavane  
  • 16.15-16.20: Rapporteur Mathematical Modelling, Emily Nightingale  
  • 16.20-16.40: Panel discussion: VL elimination What are the future problems statements? What can donors and implementers do better to support Kala Azar elimination? Facilitators: Suman Rijal/Mitali Chatterjee National programme representatives  
  • 16.40-16.50: SPEAK exit strategy and transition planning overview, Dr Kayla Laseron/Mary Cameron  
  • 16.50-17.00: Closing remarks and reflective thoughts, Dr Neeraj Dhingra 

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