DRC is a high priority country in the global efforts to control and eliminate NTDs and is regarded by WHO as one of the “big three” highest disease burden countries in sub-Saharan Africa. However, there is little data on the prevalence of NTDs within DRC, making it difficult to plan and implement large, effective treatment interventions. The Ministry of Health (MoH), funded by the Department for International Development (DFID), partnered with the Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases at the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (CNTD) to coordinate the mapping of intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, and lymphatic filariasis. Significant funding gaps were identified in this partnership and more resources were needed to continue mapping and begin planning for treatment. In addition, the MoH in the DRC has a well-established program for river blindness through the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC), which has built a strong foundation upon which to expand treatment for other NTDs.
END Fund Investment
In DRC the END Fund partnered with CNTD to complete disease mapping of intestinal worms, schistosomiasis, and LF in eight provinces. In addition, in partnership with APOC, the END Fund is supporting 21 ‘community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) projects across 250 health zones throughout DRC.
Program to Date
CNTD oversaw the training of local health workers on NTD mapping techniques, as well as data collection, logistics, and analysis. They also launched a coordinated social mobilization campaign to raise awareness of surveying activities among community members in targeted areas. Preliminary mapping data was used by the MoH to help develop and design a comprehensive treatment strategy.
This program supports APOC’s expanded control efforts to treat LF in six already established CDTI project areas where over 17 million people will be targeted for treatment for river blindness and/or LF in 2014.