Prospects for the Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases by Mass Drug Administration

Henk L. Smits


Expert Rev Anti Infect Ther. 2009;7(1):37-56. 

In This Article

Five-year View

The prospects for the MDA programs in resource-poor countries are complex and there is a clear need for priority setting, improved efficacy and coverage and long-term sustainability. Community participation and mobilization, together with health education and information, will be essential to improve success and integration in coendemic areas in a 'NTDs' public-health program, and with control programs for the major tropical diseases is crucial for sustainability. This will require accurate disease mapping and identification of target populations using geographic information systems and remote sensing methods,[197] establishment of broad partnerships with defined roles for all partners, development of clear educational and information programs and creation and implementation of simple and effective monitoring tools. While MDA is an important tool to reduce disease prevalence emphasis on control measures, including vector control, hygiene and sanitation, is of utmost importance for a long-lasting interruption of transmission. Effective disease control requires the close collaboration of experts from a wide variety of disciplines, including public-health experts, engineers to build the safe and clean environment and infrastructure and communication experts to develop health information packages, and efforts should be undertaken to have these and other disciplines work together effectively.[214] Research into drug discovery and vaccine development remains important but expectations for the emergance of any short-term solutions are low.


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