About Strongyloides Australia Inc
The National Strongyloidiasis Working Group (NSWG) was formed in 2001 at the first National Work-shop on Strongyloidiasis held in Nhulunbuy, Northern Territory, in response to a plea from an Aboriginal elder from a group whose prevalence was 60%. He said, “We’ve had Strongyloides for so long, why hasn’t something been done?” The first chairperson was the late Emeritus Professor Rick Speare from James Cook University, an internationally recognised expert on strongyloidiasis.
Since then, the NSWG has convened 14 National Workshops.
During 2019, the NSWG became Strongyloides Australia Inc. It is now a multidisciplinary group including parasitologists, veterinary and molecular scientists, pathologists, environmental health officers, medical practitioners, health promotion and prevention professionals, and other interested people.
The aims of Strongyloides Australia are:
• to raise awareness of strongyloidiasis;
• to inform health professionals and community members about the disease and its diagnosis, treatment, prevention and control; and
• to advocate on behalf of affected people for appropriate changes to government policy in relation to prevention, diagnosis, and treatment, based upon current research.
Successful outcomes have occurred in a number of Aboriginal communities. Members of the working group have been involved in developing, in partnership with these communities, a number of approaches, including engagement strategies, a clinical audit approach, mass drug administration, infrastructure upgrades. and community-based education programs.