Integrating Neglected Tropical Disease Control: Common Themes in Niger and Zanzibar

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Niger , Topic: Intervention/Prevention , Zanzibar

[Note: This case study was originally published in 2009. Download a PDF or read the case study here.]

Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a set of 13 parasitic and bacterial infections that affect more than a billion people worldwide and take a half million lives each year. This makes NTDs ideal candidates for national disease control programs. And, over the past decade, a number of such efforts supported by donors and drug companies have been launched by government agencies in collaboration with international nongovernmental organizations.

Lessons Learned:

  • Early engagement and active support by political leaders aids in neglected tropical disease control efforts.
  • Community mobilization hinges on buy-in from community leaders, religious figures and local politicians.
  • Make sure that health care workers at every level of the health system have bought into the program and are made explicitly aware of its high priority.
  • Mass drug administration must be coupled with effective health education and other measures to ensure adequate long-term adoption and prevent further disease transmission.

 

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