Barely two years since the Ministry of Health and partners launched a national fight against Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), the results have been lauded by global health networks.
The Global Network for Neglected Tropical Diseases (GNNTD) has hailed the country’s ongoing effort to build a foundation for sustainable NTD control.
“Through partnership development, training of health workers, drug distributors, mapping and surveys, Rwanda’s mass drug administration programme is a model for a country’s treatment efforts,” the Managing Director of GNNTD, Kari Stoever said.
In her remarks, she also lauded the cost- effective nature of the programme saying that few approaches in global health offer such incredible returns on investment.
“For approximately 30 cents for one year of treatment per person, the campaign in Rwanda is a shining example of the cost-effectiveness of NTD control programmes.”
In partnership with Access Project, the Ministry has so far tested 4.2 million people for intestinal worms and over one hundred thousand children for Bilharzia.
The Information Education Communication Coordinator in the National Tropical Disease Control Programme, Malick Kayumba, also said that this international recognition is an encouragement to partners and that more efforts to curb the level of infection are underway.
“A lot has been done but more is still in the pipeline. In October, this year, mass drug administration will again be done countrywide as part of the national mother and child health week.”
Prof. Michael Kramer, the Director General of TRAC Plus once explained that these infections are called neglected tropical diseases because they lack funding and attention adding that focus is on diseases like HIV/Aids and malaria.