The Role of Disability Care in Treating NTDs
NTD infections that progress to an advanced stage can result in long-term disability. Elephantiasis, one example, is an advanced form of lymphatic filariasis that causes severe pain and prohibits mobility. Disability care, which can include activities like limb washing, exercise, and surgery allows patients to manage disease symptoms and improve quality of life in ways medication alone often cannot. These services play an important role in alleviating suffering and improving lives.
Mapping Neglected Tropical Diseases
Mapping Neglected Tropical Diseases is an important first step in understanding the prevalence, intensity and geographic distribution of diseases across a population.
The Importance of the SAFE Strategy for Trachoma Control
Trachoma is a bacterial infection of the eye that can lead to irreversible blindness if not diagnosed and treated early. The SAFE strategy - the strategy for treatment, prevention and control - combines both individual and community-oriented measures. The acronym SAFE stands for: S
urgery to reverse trichiasis preserve sight; A
ntibiotics to rid the body of active infection; F
acial cleanliness to prevent person-to-person transmission; and E
nvironmental improvements to improve both hygiene and sanitation, and prevent flies from breeding in human feces. Ensuring the full SAFE strategy is the only way trachoma can truly be controlled.
Mass drug administration and its role in controlling NTDs
Mass drug administration – or MDA – is the delivery of medicines to an entire community at risk of, or infected with, a certain disease. Because NTD treatment most often only requires the simple distribution of one or two drugs, MDA for NTDs is most often conducted by community health workers and by teachers on an annual or biannual basis in order to prevent, control and eliminate the diseases.
Linking WASH with NTD control
Inadequate water supply, limited access to sanitation facilities and poor hygiene are major contributing factors to the spread of NTDs. Improvements in water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) are essential in preventing transmission of and (re)infection with schistosomiasis, intestinal worm and trachoma because they promote face and hand washing, the use of soap, and ensuring there are well-maintained latrines and clean water sources near communities. In addition to reducing NTD transmission and improving lasting health, WASH can also contribute to improved educational outcomes and economic gains.