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ISNTD Festival 2023 Award Winners

Each year, the ISNTD Festival brings together some of the most exciting creative work aiming to tackle complex challenges in tropical and infectious diseases. Here are the winners of this year's 7th annual ISNTD Festival awards, and their beautiful, powerful, moving pieces of work, with some inspiring and innovative collaborations between the creative industries and the field of public health. Congratulations!  


The National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) 5S Foundation, Ethiopia, is the winner of the ISNTD Festival 2023 Film Award for shining the spotlight on the neglected disease scabies through a creative multi-sectoral approach marrying science, social sciences and filmmaking. 

The documentary film "The Agony of the Night" by independent Ethiopian filmmaker Eyerusalem Kassahun from the NIHR 5S Foundation and Dereje Wonde, a PhD researcher and lecturer of sociology at Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia, tells the story of people in northwestern Ethiopia affected by scabies and the health workers treating them, charting their common struggle with, at night, the constant itch triggered by scabies infestations and, in the day, the stigmatisation and isolation resulting from rashes and sores. Find out more about the work of the Social Sciences for Severe Stigmatising Skin Conditions (5S) Foundation at the UK's Brighton & Sussex Medical School here


Valneva is the winner of the ISNTD Festival 2023 Animation Award. In this short Chikungunya disease awareness animation, Valneva leverages the versatility of animation to chart simply the recent resurgence and expansion of Chikungunya cases and transmission risk into areas such as Europe, the Caribbean and North America whilst highlighting the current lack of treatments and vaccines in an effort to drive knowledge and advocacy for this disease.


Find out more about this rapidly-expanding neglected disease and Valneva's Research & Development work towards tackling Chikungunya here.


The ISNTD Festival Award for Art has been jointly given to Prof Fernando Genta (Oswaldo Cruz Institute, Fiocruz), Dr Rod Dillon (freelance NTDs scientist/artist @sandflyman) and Dr Ross Dalziel (freelance maker & socially-engaged artist) for their collaborative work on science dissemination, focusing on laboratories, insect disease-vectors and disease awareness through art in science. 

Discover the range and breadth of their approaches in the following links:

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Digital Art


Ireoluwa Adegoke, a medical student at the University of Ibadan and an illustrator, has won the ISNTD Festival 2023 Award for Digital Art, for the image entitled "Elephant in the Room". In this artwork, Ireoluwa marries the concepts of elephantiasis (lymphatic filariasis) with the expression "the elephant in the room" to highlight the neglect of this disease in terms of awareness and treatment and the potential invisibility of those affected.   


The board game "No More Schisto" was awarded the ISNTD Festival 2023 game award.


Created by Egie Elisha Enabulele, a molecular parasitologist and children’s book author based at the Texas Biomedical Research Institute, this educational game takes the player through the stages from schistosomiasis infection to treatment, via symptoms and diagnosis, and also highlights the risky behaviours which perpetrate infection cycles.


The game follows the principles of Enabulele's ongoing work in science dissemination and public engagement, by simplifying and communicating complex scientific and health issues to a broad audience, both to adults and children. 

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Dengue fever remains the fastest growing mosquito-borne disease worldwide, placing around half the world's population at risk of infection, with cases reported to the WHO rising from around 505 430 cases in 2000 to 5.2 million in 2019. Of those cases, many remain misdiagnosed or asymptomatic and, in addition, given the absence of any available treatment, boosting disease awareness among the public and healthcare professionals through original and effective campaigns is a public health priority. 

Against this backdrop, the ISNTD Festival 2023 Campaign Award goes to Takeda Pharmaceutical for the range and scope of campaigns and innovations in public engagement and science communication developed to increase dengue disease awareness. This ambitious aim was achieved through three multi-channel approaches: the ING-MA campaign, which developed an AI-generated character based on the features of 1,237,467 dengue victims; the website and knowledge platform; and an interactive, connected Dengue Information Billboard. Please click below to discover these dengue awareness campaign tools!  

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The ISNTD is delighted to give the ISNTD Festival 2023 written award to Obed Imbahafi, who is a storyteller, a student at the University of Kigali in Rwanda as well as a WIPO Associate. Please take a moment to discover Obed's written work on the themes of neglected tropical diseases and global health, whether in the format of poetry (with "From Suffering to Hope", a collection of ten poems on NTDs); an article on the double burden of climate and diseases; or writing as part of the development of the film "The power of children in fighting neglected tropical diseases in Africa". Please click on the images below to learn more. 


This year, the ISNTD Festival 2023 App award recognises the work of Dimagi, a social entreprise building, developing and scaling apps and digital solutions to support frontline work and challenges worldwide, improving community disease management. This award recognises the efforts made to engage and mentor communities as part of the digital approach to make true gains in addressing the challenge of at least 50% of people who lack access to essential health services as well as the social impact of these digital solutions. 

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The ISNTD Festival 2023 Data award goes to FIND, the global alliance for diagnostics. Precipitated by the diagnostics knowledge gaps in the COVID19 pandemic, FIND developed a directory of current diagnostic tests, including for NTDs, making strides towards the vision and goal of a single data portal for diagnostics! The award recognises the creative development of an innovative and accessible interface to simplify the process of diagnosis. Please click here for more information and to access the DxConnect test directories and platform.


The ISNTD Festival 2023 Education award goes to Dr. Lahiru Kodituwakku and Dr. Jagath Amarasekera, on behalf of the National Dengue Control Unit at the Ministry of Health Sri Lanka and the World Food Program for the training handbook: "Scenario based training on multi hazard situations and complex emergencies".


This Handbook collates, analyses and translates into actionable steps some of the main challenges which healthcare workers and first responders may encounter in an emergency, providing training through a scenario-based approach tackling emergencies ranging from tropical storms, fires to civil unrest.


Discover the guide here.

Community engagement

The ISNTD Festival 2023 award for community engagement goes to the World Mosquito Program, a group working to protect communities from mosquito-borne diseases using wolbachia to decrease the risk of Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmitting viruses. This award recognises the fundamental commitment by WMP to community engagement, which underlays every part of the programme. The WMP approach rests on listening to communities suffering from dengue and other diseases, so that activities can be tailored from the early stages to the community needs and concerns, working closely with Community Reference Groups and community leaders, for example. In this way, the WMP is rethinking community engagement in health programs, whether by think of trust as being "borrowed" rather than gained all the way to planning sustainable exit strategies following interventions. Find out more about WMP's work with communities here and watch the WMP short films charting their approach and programs. 


Public engagement

The ISNTD Festival 2023 award for public engagement is given to Prof Marco Salvemini, the STOPTIGRE team, the community of Procida Island and the Course of New Technologies of Arts of the Fine Arts Academy of Naples on behalf of the STOPTIGRE project. This project, led by researchers of the Department of Biology of the University of Naples Federico II and several collaborators from national and international institutions, aims to contribute to the development of an innovative, sustainable and effective approach to the monitoring and control of the Asian tiger mosquito Aedes albopictus on the Mediterranean island of Procida, Italy.


Since 2015 it has the ambitious goal of achieving an eco-sustainable eradication of A. albopictus, through the active involvement of citizens in research and control activities through citizen-science and community engagement actions. From sculptures to science cafes via opera and app-based citizen science, this project has successfully engaged the local public and tourists in the fight against mosquito-borne diseases. Find out all about this project here.  

Youth engagement

The ISNTD Festival 2023 Award for Youth Engagement goes to the Southern African Youth Forum (SAYoF) in SADC, the Southern African Development Community. This forum, composed of clusters covering wide-ranging issues including sustainable development, climate change, health, research & policy and much more represents the youth across sixteen African countries and is guided by the increasing demand by young people to have a voice and be important players and stakeholders in national and regional processes, participate in sustainable transformation and in the agendas set by Heads of State, regional and international organisations and issues that concern them most. The award recognises the youth development, empowerment and advocacy tools it offers for the youth of the SADC region and its impact on the issues facing this youth including neglected tropical diseases.  


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Medicines for Malaria Venture (MMV) received the ISNTD Festival 2023 award for Advocacy for its work using film, community and public engagement to advocate for the use of tafenoquine and point-of-care diagnostics as tools to treat and prevent reinfection with malaria. The use of strong communication and advocacy helped to drive the hard science behind the treatment and clinical trials to a wide audience including at government levels, thereby effecting health policy and the health advocacy agenda. Discover MMV's work through the films posted on this page



This year the Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative (DNDi) celebrates its 20th anniversary! The ISNTD wish to recognise the DNDi as one of the most successful PDPs, following a not-for-profit model for developing drugs for neglected patients as well as driving forward advocacy for the world's most neglected patients and at-risk communities. This has resulted in the development of at least 12 treatments for 6 deadly diseases, but also efforts to redefine access, reimagining approaches with communities, advocacy at high level, all supported by a range of innovative creative approaches from award-winning films to apps. For these many reasons and successes, the ISNTD is proud to give the DNDi the ISNTD Festival 2023 Lifetime award. Please click here to find out all about the DNDi's work over the last twenty years and here to watch some of DNDi's films.  

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