The USAID program, 2006-2011, represents the first large scale and global effort to integrate the treatment of NTDs that affect more than one billion people. NTDs disproportionately impact the poorest and most marginalized populations who lack access to safe water, basic health services, and essential medicines.
40 million people are expected to be treated over five years. USAID’s $100 million program will expand coverage to new districts and provide treatments for NTDs that have gone untreated in the past. The programme focuses on integrating the treatment of five diseases: lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminthes, and trachoma.
80% of allocated USAID funds will support country programs. Programs are being implemented through national governments, local NGOs, and other community groups to ensure that there is no duplication of efforts. Integration efforts commenced immediately in 5 fast track countries – Burkina Faso, Ghana, Mali, Niger, and Uganda – and are being quickly scaled up to reach other affected countries.
Lessons learned and best practices are being developed to promote the adoption of NTD integration efforts in other affected countries. Through close coordination with implementers, partners, and WHO, dissemination of results will focus on ensuring that other integration efforts are based on sound practices.