Testing for lymphatic filariasis, Mwanaidi Mtui takes a blood sample from a boy in a public school in Vikuge Tanzania. (Paul Jeffrey/IMA World Health)

Working toward a world free of NTDs

About the project

IMA has been an implementing partner in the ENVISION project since 2011. RTI International leads the eight-year effort aimed at providing assistance to national programs for neglected tropical diseases.

The program targets five neglected tropical diseases: lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and three soil-transmitted helminths (roundworm, hookworm and whipworm).

IMA World Health implements ENVISION programming in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Haiti and Tanzania.

Haiti

$13.54 million funded to date| USAID | 2011–2019

The ENVISION project, led by RTI International, aims to control soil-transmitted helminths in Haiti and to eliminate LF, a mosquito-borne, neglected tropical disease that can cause severe physical disability and social stigma.

IMA works alongside donors and the Haiti Neglected Tropical Disease Control Program or HNTDCP, a joint effort between the Ministry of Health and Population, and the Ministry of Education, to provide mass drug administration of two safe drugs in 9 of Haiti’s 10 departments. Altogether, more than 3.2 million Haitians were treated in FY2016, including 805,092 school-aged children. Pregnant women and children under age 2 cannot receive treatment. To reach a population this size, IMA has trained approximately 20,000 community leaders, promoters and distributors to educate the population about LF, persuade the highest number of households possible to participate in preventive treatment for LF, and conduct MDA through community distribution posts and schools.

The goal is to eliminate LF in Haiti by 2020. To assess progress, IMA and the HNTDCP have carried out 22 LF transmission assessment surveys (known as TAS) to date, including nine such surveys in 55 communes this year. The logistically complex surveys are carried out in hundreds of schools and communities over a two to three week period to determine if disease transmission has been disrupted and is unlikely to recur in a given area. Currently, 101 out of Haiti’s 140 communes have passed TAS criteria and met the benchmarks to end treatment campaigns — a number that puts Haiti on track to meet its elimination goal.

Successes:

  • 3,243,074 individuals treated for LF and STH in FY2016
  • 805,092 school-aged children treated for LF and STH in FY2016
  • To date, 72 percent of districts have achieved criteria for stopping MDA

Tanzania

$26.82 million | USAID | 2012–2016
IMA, with ENVISION support, follows the lead of Tanzania’s National Tropical Disease Control Program and its Neglected Tropical Disease Secretariat to implement NTD control activities in line with the Tanzania NTD Master Plan. Since 2011, IMA has supported Tanzania’s Ministry of Health and the NTDCP to provide technical assistance,funding, and capacity development for NTD control and elimination activities, and improved monitoring and evaluation for NTD program activities.

The five NTDs endemic in Tanzania are lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil transmitted helminthes and trachoma. A large portion of the population is at risk of co-infection with two or more of these diseases. IMA collaborates with health officials to carry out mass drug administration in 19 regions and 126 districts across Tanzania. To accomplish this, IMA worked with officials to train 11,414 front line health workers, 27,087 teachers and 90,284 community drug distributors who delivered treatments to more than 20 million people by the end of fiscal year 2016. In addition, IMA provides technical support for carrying out disease specific assessments for the five NTDs.

In fiscal year 2016, one of the biggest highlights was conducting transmission assessment surveys for lymphatic filariasis in 27 districts to determine if the program could stop mass drug administration for LF. To date, 74 districts (an increase from 64 districts), with a population of more than 15 million people, have achieved criteria for stopping MDA for LF.

Democratic Republic of Congo

$791,547 | USAID | 2015–2019
Four neglected tropical diseases are of concern in the DRC: lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminthes. As an implementing partner, IMA conducts annual mass drug administration of three medications among more than 500,000 people in six zones of Maniema Province, with the goal of treating 80 percent of the population. In fiscal year 2016, IMA achieved 98.9 percent coverage for soil transmitted helminthes, exceeding the prescribed target for the third year in a row.