Mass Drug Administration and beyond: how can we strengthen health systems to deliver complex interventions to eliminate neglected tropical diseases?
Macpherson EE., Adams ER., Bockarie MJ., Hollingsworth TD., Kelly-Hope LA., Lehane M., Kovacic V., Harrison RA., Paine MJ., Reimer LJ., Torr SJ.
Achieving the 2020 goals for Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) requires scale-up of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) which will require long-term commitment of national and global financing partners, strengthening national capacity and, at the community level, systems to monitor and evaluate activities and impact. For some settings and diseases, MDA is not appropriate and alternative interventions are required. Operational research is necessary to identify how existing MDA networks can deliver this more complex range of interventions equitably. The final stages of the different global programmes to eliminate NTDs require eliminating foci of transmission which are likely to persist in complex and remote rural settings. Operational research is required to identify how current tools and practices might be adapted to locate and eliminate these hard-to-reach foci. Chronic disabilities caused by NTDs will persist after transmission of pathogens ceases. Development and delivery of sustainable services to reduce the NTD-related disability is an urgent public health priority. LSTM and its partners are world leaders in developing and delivering interventions to control vector-borne NTDs and malaria, particularly in hard-to-reach settings in Africa. Our experience, partnerships and research capacity allows us to serve as a hub for developing, supporting, monitoring and evaluating global programmes to eliminate NTDs.