NEUROSOLVE: Implementation of superior treatment regimen and improved patient pathway for neurocysticercosis in Sub-Saharan Africa

May 2023 to April 2027
combination therapy
national guidelines
Sokoine University of Agriculture (Tanzania)
University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania)
University of Zambia (Zambia)
Research fields
Agriculture and Food Sciences
Medicine and Health Sciences

Neurocysticercosis (NCC) is a fatal zoonotic disease following ingestion of eggs of the pork tapeworm, Taenia solium. The eggs develop to larval forms (cysticerci) in various tissues, including those of the central nervous system, leading to NCC, mainly characterized by epileptic seizures. NCC management guidelines have been published by the WHO, however, their uptake in national policies is very limited. In NeuroSolve, we will demonstrate and promote a methodological approach for conducting health research that leads to improved adoption into policy and clinical practise. We will validate the approach by investigating evaluation- and implementation of an antiparasitic combination treatment and a serological test. Two health innovations that can make a major positive contribution to NCC management. The proposed approach includes (1) strengthening of clinical and research capacity through training and mentoring of early career researchers, clinicians and frontline healthcare workers as well as upgrading infrastructure for surveillance and control, (2) demonstrating the improved pragmatic effectiveness of the combined treatment on quality of life (3) evaluating the potential impact of serological testing on the patient outcomes and the wider health system through a simulation study, (4) demonstrating the cost-effectiveness and cost-benefit of the proposed health technologies, (5) developing and validating an implementation strategy that addresses identified barriers for uptake using the robust implementation frameworks and 6) enhance research results uptake into national and international guidelines and health policy through engagement of relevant policy makers throughout the project period and beyond. If the intended impacts are reached, NeuroSolve will improve health outcomes of NCC patients, provide a blueprint for meaningful implementation research and demonstrate to policy makers how research can strengthen healthcare systems.