Eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases in Africa
July 18, 2018
NTDs have devastated over millions of lives for the longest time but, massive coordinated efforts have brought together governments, private sector companies, NGOs and communities from the most remote areas, proving us that the international community is on the right track, and that elimination is within reach. Throughout the continent, countries are making progress towards NTD control and elimination. In 2017, Togo eliminated lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem in Togo and this year, Ghana has done the same with trachoma. Illustrating public health as its best, health technicians, partners and community health workers have come together with a clear objective to improve the lives of millions of the most vulnerable people.
With the clear objective to promote the need for coordination of country ownership of the integrated PC-NTD programme, from the meeting shall stem key action points and recommendations to improve the implementation of annual plans and activities for the completion of the NTD Roadmap.
What: ESPEN First Annual Programme Managers Meeting
When: 17-19 July 2018
Where: Lemigo Hotel, Kigali, Rwanda
Distributed by African Media Agency (AMA) on behalf of ESPEN.
About Rwanda NTD Programme
With the above partnership, the program has mapped most common NTDs:
- Intestinal worms: 65% (2008); 45% (2014)
- Schistosomiasis (bilharzia): 2.7% (varying from 0 to 70% in surveyed schools) (2008); 1.9% (2014); But the use of more sensitive test in 2014 has revealed higher prevalence and new hot spots with an overall prevalence of 7.4% (varying from 0 to 100% in surveyed schools) (only intestinal bilharzia was found endemic around lakes and marshes in Rwanda)
- Trachoma and Lymphatic filariasis were also mapped in 2008 and found not being public health threats.
- Training of laboratory technicians on NTDs diagnosis and training of nurses and physicians on clinical management of NTDs was conducted. Currently, training on NTDs for all 45,000 CHWs is being implemented in June until July 2018.
- Since 2008, Mass Deworming campaigns (Mass Drug Administration or MDA) against intestinal worms for high risk population mainly children from 1 to 15 years and against bilharzia for children from 5 to 15 years from endemic areas (around lakes and marshes). This mass treatment campaign is implemented mainly through the MCH week implemented every 6 months.
With a secretariat based in WHO AFRO headquarters in Brazzaville, ESPEN contributes to the control and elimination of the five-leading neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) responsive to preventive chemotherapy (PC-NTDs), leveraging on the commitment of pharmaceutical companies’ donation of effective medicines. By helping countries control and eliminate theses NTDs, ESPEN contributes to poverty alleviation, improves economic productivity and quality of life for affected people in Africa. With the support from ESPEN, Ministries of Health systems can achieve universal healthcare and strengthen their health systems for the benefit of the most vulnerable communities in Africa.
Dr. Maria Rebollo Polo, ESPEN Team Leader
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