Tanzania is endemic for all five of the most common NTDs, with a large part of the population at risk for co-infection of two or more. In 2009, Tanzania adopted the WHO initiative to integrate implementation of activities for NTDs and as a result, established a national NTD program. In 2013, the country launched its National NTD Master Plan for 2012-2017, a more robust and centralized plan.
Due to the high disease prevalence and large backlog in trichiasis surgeries, Tanzania is considered one of the priority countries for trachoma elimination. It is thought to be endemic in 50 districts with a high prevalence of blinding trachoma and a large number of people requiring surgery for trichiasis in the rural Maasai communities in the North East. Lymphatic filariasis is endemic through out the country with an estimated 45 million people at risk.
END Fund Investment
The Summit to See the END was launched to raise awareness and funds for NTDs in 2014. The resources raised enabled the END Fund to engage in partnerships for the first time to support Tanzania’s NTD elimination strategy. In 2015 and beyond, Summit to See the END continues to increase public knowledge on NTDs and supports trichiasis and hydrocele surgeries in Tanzania.
The END Fund works in concert with several partners to address the high burden of blinding trachoma and advanced lymphatic filariasis. Working with the national ministry of health, the END Fund provides financial support for LF morbidity management, including hydrocele surgeries. The END Fund also partners with local organization, Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology (KCCO), and Sightsavers International, to support trichiasis surgeries and training for surgeons.
Program to Date
There are three on-going programs in Tanzania. In partnership with the Ministry of Health and Social Welfare (MoHSW), the END Fund provides support for 250 hydrocele surgeries in two remote districts. The blinding trachoma program in partnership with KCCO aims to address the backlog of trichiasis surgeries by delivering 450 surgeries. It also focuses on using social mobilization and pre-existing platforms to identify community members and increase the number of people receiving trichiasis support and management. In partnership with Sightsavers, International Coalition on Trachoma Control, and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, the END Fund is engaged in a three-year program that focuses on increasing the capacity of trichiasis surgeons, training 160 case-finders in each target district, and providing more than 6,000 surgeries to reduce the surgical backlog.