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Neglected tropical disease control in post-war Sierra Leone using the Onchocerciasis Control Programme as a platform

Neglected tropical disease control in post-war Sierra Leone using the Onchocerciasis Control Programme as a platform,10.1016/j.inhe.2011.03.003,Intern

Neglected tropical disease control in post-war Sierra Leone using the Onchocerciasis Control Programme as a platform  
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Strategic investments in the control of neglected tropical diseases (NTD) spearheaded by the US Government, the British Government and other bilateral donors such as foundations and key pharmaceutical partners have enabled the treatment of millions of people for the five targeted debilitating diseases (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis and trachoma), paving the way for the potential elimination as public health problems of some of these diseases. Like many other countries, Sierra Leone has a high burden of these major NTDs. Despite the fragile infrastructure of a health system emerging from a devastating 10-year civil war, the country has successfully implemented the National NTD Control Programme, reaching national coverage in 2010. The NTD Control Programme uses the existing Onchocerciasis Control Programme as a platform and involves primary health workers. The programme has provided extensive training opportunities to health workers at national, district and community levels. The country currently has 31 161 trained community volunteers treating a population of five million people. It is shown that the investments in NTD control are not only to control NTDs but also to strengthen health systems, particularly at the primary level, through extensive capacity building of frontline health workers and community-directed distributors.
Journal: International Health , vol. 3, no. 2, pp. 69-74, 2011
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