Regional Network for Asian Schistosomiasis and Other Helminthic Zoonoses, Volume 105, the latest release in the Advances in Parasitology series, captures the journey of RNAS+ from its early beginnings, to its current state, marking its accomplishments and impacts in research. Sections in this updated volume include Milestones of networking and global engagements for the RNAS+, Priorities and outcomes of collaborative researches for the RNAS+, Needs and coordination mechanism for capacity building by the RNAS+, Translational research and contributions to country control, Multi-disciplinary integration of networking through the RNAS+, Impact assessment of RNAS+ outcomes, and more.
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1. Milestones of networking and global engagements for the Regional Network on Asian Schistosomiasis and other Helminthic Zoonoses (RNAS+) 2. Collaborative RNAS+ research: Priorities and outcomes 3. Needs and coordination mechanism for capacity building by the RNAS+ 4. From country control programmes to translational research 5. Multi-disciplinary integration of networking through the RNAS+: Research on other target diseases 6. From inspiration to translation: Closing the gap between research and control of helminth zoonoses in Southeast Asia 7 Challenges and way forward
Annex 1: Publications through RNAS+ platform Annex 2: The memory photos in the selected RNAS+ annual workshops Annex 3: RNAS+
I have been working on the parasitic diseases for more than 36 years since 1982 when I entered the Jiangsu Institute of Parasitic Diseases based in Wuxi, Jiangsu province. I moved to the National Institute of Parasitic Diseases, Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, and WHO Collaborating Centre for Tropical Diseases, based in Shanghai, China since 2001. My major contributions to the schistosomiasis control and research laid strong background on coordinating activities for multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary cooperation on tropical medicine both in the national level and international level.
In the national level, I have been serving the Vice Chair of the Chinese Ministry of Health Expert Committee on Disease Control and Chair for the Sub-group of Parasitic Diseases and Schistosomiasis since 2006. With over 30 years' experience in the field, I have long-term experience working on provincial and national programmes on schistosomiasis control and research, for instance, I have accomplished several big research projects in cooperation with more than 10 institutions, awarded many honorable prizes for research works or individual contributions on epidemiology of schistosomiasis and snail biology.
In the international level, I have had long-term cooperation experiences with WHO and serves as member of international expert committees, such as the WPRO Review Group on Neglected Tropical Diseases, the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group for Neglected Tropical Diseases, and the TDR Committee for Malaria Eradication. With my efforts together other colleagues from Asia, I had involved the initiative for the Regional Network on Asian Schistosomiasis and Other Helminth Zoonoses (RNAS+) which is still actively existed. Recently, I also pushed the initiation of another China-Africa network, namely Institution-based Network on China-Africa Cooperation on Schistosomiasis Elimination (INCAS). With those activities, we have more friends in the world working as a south-south or south-north model on schistosomiasis control and research.
In addition, I also actively involved in the editorial works on tropical diseases, such as I am Editor-in-Chief of Infectious Diseases of Poverty, Associate Editor of PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, and a board member of Parasites and Vectors journals. Personally, I have published more than 200 articles in peer-reviewed journals and more than six academic books. I have been principal investigator for more than 20 national and international research projects, and have supervised more than 40 MSc or PhD students, as well as international postdoctoral fellows.
Robert Bergquist Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, Basel, Switzerland.
Dr Robert Bergquist is a Medical Professor, affiliated with the Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute (Swiss TPH) and Editor-in-Chief of Geospatial Health, which deals with the use of geospatial tools in human and veterinary health.
Lydia Leonardo Retired professor in Parasitology, College of Public Health, University of the Philippines.
I am a retired professor in Parasitology at the College of Public Health University of the Philippines Manila. Retirement did not stop me from pursuing teaching and research on schistosomiasis, food-borne helminthiases and soil-transmitted helminthiases. More than this is the mentoring and molding of graduate students, junior researchers and faculty who have been convinced of the importance of working on the above mentioned parasitic diseases. Hence my appointment as professorial lecturer at the Institute of Biology College of Science of the University of the Philippines in Diliman and a graduate school of a private university. Retirement has also freed me from administrative work which took up much of my time when I was in active duty but which also provided me with much experience to deal with the challenges of my full-time work as a program manager of a short-term project of nationwide scope.
My work on parasitic diseases particularly schistosomiasis spanned over several decades even before I moved to the College of Public Health in 1995. After finishing my doctoral degree, I right away plunged into research work on various aspects of schistosomiasis. I was invited to a meeting on schistosomiasis in China in 1998 which turned out to be the ground work for the establishment of the Regional Network on Asian Schistosomiasis. I was appointed secretary of this network from 2001 to the present and in charge of documenting proceedings of all the meetings that were held regularly.
I was eventually recognized as an expert in schistosomiasis based on the various researches that I undertook and publications that I made from their results. I was regularly invited as resource person in reviews, upgrading or development of intervention programs for schistosomiasis, food and water borne diseases and soil-transmitted helminthiases by the Philippine Department of Health. Additionally, I have been part of mission teams sent to Laos, Cambodia, Indonesia and Anhui and Hubei in China to review their schistosomiasis program.
At present, aside from teaching, research and managing a research project, I am collaborating with experts in editing as well as writing for a special volume on Neglected Tropical Diseases in Asia and on a book on 20 years of Regional Network on Asian Schistosomiasis and other Helminthic Zoonoses.