Neglected tropical diseases are a diverse group of diseases that affect more than 1 billion people – one-sixth of the world’s population – including an estimated 800 million children. NTDs affect almost exclusively poor people living in rural areas and urban slums of low-income countries. These diseases can kill and frequently impair, blind, or disfigure and have devastating economic consequences for communities due to the loss of productivity and income. Women and children are especially at risk of NTDs. Women are more commonly affected by trachoma, which causes pain and blindness during the most productive years of life. NTDs also keep children from living healthy, productive lives, causing malnutrition, reduced school enrollment and compromised intellectual development.
This year, USAID will have supported countries to deliver one billion NTD treatments in the global effort to reduce the burden of NTDs – a remarkable achievement reached in only eight years.
Having provided USAID support for NTD control to the Haiti Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Control Program since 2008, IMA was thrilled to facilitate the USAID delegation to Haiti and highlight the success of Haiti’s NTD program led by the Government of Haiti (GOH) Ministry of Health and Population (MSPP) and the GOH Ministry of Education with the aim of eliminating and controlling lymphatic filariasis and soil-transmitted helminths in Haiti.
USAID support for NTD control began in 2008 under the NTD Control Program (2006-2012) and continues under the ENVISION project (2011-2016). Both projects are led by RTI International.
After five successful rounds of treatment, a population is ready for a transmission assessment survey, which determines whether that area meets the criteria for stopping treatment – a key point on the road to eliminating LF. So far, 20 districts in Haiti have completed five successful rounds and are readying for assessment.