NTDs contribute to a cycle of poverty and disease that can hinder economic and social development for generations. Many people affected by NTDs today lack access to case management services. Further, case management programs are fragmented, and the true burden of disease, and data about the availability of services, is inaccessible.
The AIM team has been working with Ministries of Health and key partners in eight countries to fill critical gaps within health systems and more efficiently deliver services to those who need them most. Every step of the process — mapping, planning and implementing — is driven and owned by Ministries of Health, with AIM providing technical and financial assistance.
Our work in the past year has included:
- Collaborating for success in Nigeria. With a population of 186 million, more the 100 million people are at risk from at least one NTD in Nigeria. AIM partnered with the government to identify and target NTD services to the areas that need them most. With an unprecedented amount of national collaboration between stakeholders, Nigeria mapped all morbidity associated with NTDs. Looking ahead, the maps will inform the development of an integrated strategy for case management of NTDs.
- Increasing equitable access to NTD care in Liberia. Despite the fragile health system, the government of Liberia has demonstrated a significant political commitment to NTDs and is the first country to develop a fully integrated plan for the case management of these diseases. The implementation of this plan began in January 2017 with support from AIM. By the end of 2017, over 500 community health workers in five of the fifteen counties will have completed integrated training for NTDs. This is being complemented by investments to strengthen the overall health system. Looking ahead, Liberia will scale up the current model, finalize the joint monitoring, evaluation and surveillance system and test a new protocol for finding and mapping cases.
- Accelerating elimination in Myanmar. More than 80% of Myanmar’s population (41 million people) live in districts endemic for lymphatic filariasis or leprosy. AIM, at the request of the country’s Director of Disease Control, is working with in-country partners and the Ministry of Health to develop maps based on surveillance data for leprosy and lymphatic filariasis. Understanding the incidence, severity and distribution of both diseases will enable the country to accelerate their efforts towards the sub-national elimination of leprosy and the validation of elimination of lymphatic filariasis as a public health problem. All of this work will help the national government reach its NTD goals and provide a model for the implementation of the AIM process in South-East Asia that can be replicated in other countries in the region.
This is just the beginning of our impact. In order to build a future free of NTDs, AIM is planning to scale up integrated interventions, complete more mapping and continue to publish key findings.
Thank you to our partners:
American Leprosy Missions
FAIRMED Sri Lanka
Federal Ministry of Health, Government of Nigeria
Ghana Health Services, Government of Ghana
Leprosy Relief Canada
London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine
Medical Assistance Programs, Liberia
Ministry of Health and Sports, Government of Myanmar
Ministry of Health, Government of Liberia
Ministry of Health, Government of Mozambique
Ministry of Health, Government of Sri Lanka
Ministry of Public Health, Government of Cameroon
Royal Tropical Institute
Sasakawa Memorial Health Foundation
The Leprosy Mission Mozambique
The Leprosy Mission Nigeria