With the accomplishment of the First Forum on Surveillance Response System Leading to Tropical Diseases Elimination in June 2012, the participants at the meeting expressed high appreciation for Chinas great achievements in the prevention and control of tropical diseases, and showed huge interests to the current surveillance system of parasitic diseases. Lots of ideas and comments on how to elimination tropical diseases in China and improvement of surveillance response system were came out during the discussion. The potential and priorities of disease elimination were rapidly assessed by the experts at the meeting. Meanwhile, the agenda of surveillance to emergent diseases and its verification was also explored. It reached a consensus that bilateral and multi-lateral action plan on malaria elimination should be strengthened so as to push forward the global agenda on tropical diseases elimination. In this context, the second Symposium on Surveillance Response System Leading to tropical Diseases Elimination is to be held at mid-June in Shanghai, again.
Along with our country agenda to eliminate the process of tropical diseases such as malaria, schistosomiasis, and expanding cooperation with other developing countries, the symposium will focus on the research progress of the global elimination of tropical diseases, discuss the multilateral or bilateral region action plan of disease elimination, such as the possibility of tropical diseases elimination in Africa under the framework of health support program. Thus, there will be two special sessions on the symposium, one is malaria control and elimination in BRICS, the other is the 140 anniversary on the discovery of clonorchiosis.
Special Session 1: Malaria control and elimination in BRICS
Consistent with the mandate of the Fifth BRICS Summit as outlined in the Durban Declaration of 26th to 27th March 2013 and the Joint Communiqué of the BRICS Health Ministers in Geneva on 20th of May 2013 on the sidelines of the 66th session of the World Health Assembly, the BRICS Health Ministers, met in Sommerset West on 7th October 2013 at the Third BRICS Health Ministers Meeting. The health ministers commitment to collaborate on key thematic areas focusing on strengthening health surveillance systems; reducing Non-Communicable Disease (NCD) risk factors through prevention and health promotion; Universal Health Coverage (UHC); strategic health technologies, with a focus on communicable and non-communicable diseases; medical technologies; and drug discovery and development.
Lots of progresses were achieved based on the previous cooperation among BRICS with mutual support and help. However, due to the weak economic foundation, the threat of infectious diseases remains the major public health problem, especially in malaria prevention and control. In response to the World Health Organization initiative to eliminate malaria, it is necessary for the BRICs countries to join forces to fight against malaria, and accelerate the process of global malaria elimination.
Special Session 2: In memory of the 140th anniversary in discovery of Clonorchis sinensis infection
On 9 September 1874, McConnell made a post-mortem examination for a 20-year-old Chinese carpenter, who was admitted to the Medical College Hospital in Calcutta, India and died from severe liver disease shortly. A new species lanceolate flukes in the bile ducts was found. This result was published in the Lancet on August 21th, 1875, and Cobbold suggested to naming the parasite Distoma sinense in the same journal four weeks later (Figure 1.), which was renamed Clonorchis sinensis by Looss in 1907 due to the appearance of branched testes. Then, more human cases were reported in other areas. However, an ancient corpse of the Warring States Period was unearthed in Hubei, China in 1994 and many C. sinensis eggs were found in the intestine, which indicates the recall of 2400 years in epidemiology of clonorchiasis. Japanese parasitologist Kobayashi proved freshwater fish as the second intermediate host in 1910, while another Japanese Muto found the first intermediate host, namely freshwater snails in 1918, which leads to the finial understanding of the life cycle.
Together with another two kind liver flukes, namely Opisthorchis viverrini and Opisthorchis felineus, C. sinensis has already become the most important food-borne parasitic disease. Clonorchiasis mainly distributes in China, the Republic of Korea, northern Vietnam and part area of Russia with 15 million infections, opisthorchiasis viverrini in Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and southern Vietnam with over 8 million infections, while opisthorchiasis felineus in the former Soviet Union and other European countries with over 1.5 million infections.
However, the importance of liver fluke infections including clonorchiasis hasn’t been realized until recent years. C. sinensis was adjusted from group 2 carcinogen in human cholangiocarcinoma to group 1 in 2009, while Opisthorchis viverrini was already classified as group 1 in 1994. These liver fluke infections were included in WHO’s first report on neglected tropical diseases in 2010. Their disease burden was released in international famous journal in 2011.
In memory of the 140th anniversary in discovery of global first C. sinensis infection case, it is meaningful to review the researches and controls in clonorchiasis during past 140 years, which will guide next work and promote future control and finial elimination.
The overall goal is to bring together the experts on tropical diseases to discuss the progress on surveillance response system and explore the influence of the system in global tropical diseases control and elimination.
III. Expected outcomes
1. Exchange the research progress of tropical diseases surveillance response system
2. Identify challenges and future collaboration on malaria control and elimination among BRICS
3. Discuss the strategies on control and elimination of clonorchiosis
4. Explore bilateral and multilateral cooperation aiming at tropical diseases control and elimination in Africa and relevant mechanism