As part of preparations towards the start of the COUNTDOWN Project, Staff of the Dodowa Health Research Centre, particularly the Countdown Team were engaged in a two day meeting with Eleanor Macphearson, a representative of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine. The meeting, which was held on the 18th and 19th of April, 2016, was to discuss preparatory plans on two main studies under COUNTDOWN. These studies are the “Health Systems Strengthening” and “Factors contributing to the persistence of Lymphatic Filariasis transmission in some districts in Ghana” (Hotspots)

Health Systems Strengthening will use qualitative research methods to explore the feasibility of integrating the management and treatment of three Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in one district each in the Western, Brong Ahafo and Upper West Regions of Ghana into the health system. The three NTDs are Onchosomiasis, Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) and Soil Transmitted Helminthes (STH).

In the same districts, Hotspots will use both qualitative and quantitative methods to explore and identify strategies for more effective mass drug administration to fast track the elimination of lymphatic filariasis. These districts are selected because they are the remaining districts with persistent transmission in Ghana.