Maintaining Health Gains with an Eye on Elimination

Country Context

Rwanda is one of the first program countries for the END Fund. The program partners with the Legatum Foundation, the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI) and the Rwandan Ministry of Health (MoH) to improve the prevention, surveillance, control and management of schistosomiasis and intestinal worm infections. More recently, Rwanda has been selected by the Schistosomiasis Consortium for Operational Research and Evaluation (SCORE) project to better understand integrated strategies needed to eliminate schistosomiasis.

END Fund Investment

Rwanda is one of the most densely populated countries in Africa, making it an important consideration for infectious disease control programs such as those targeting NTDs. Since the early 1980's, the government has focused on implementing primary healthcare services as a means to improve the health of the population and the healthcare system. In 2007, the Legatum Foundation initiated a national integrated NTD program to treat children and adults with donated drugs in the form of mass drug administration (MDA). The END Fund’s program builds on this previous success.

Program to Date

The current program has been remapping with a combination of methods for improved sensitivity and preliminary results reveal new areas endemic for intestinal worms in Rwanda. This prevalence, as high as 100% in some areas, indicated the need for treatment, which was provided to all participating children. In addition, children found to be infected with schistosomiasis were treated. Once the final results of mapping are analysed, the program will continue mass drug administration (MDA) in target areas in 2015 and begin the use of integrated surveillance, ultimately working towards an elimination strategy.