Neglected tropical diseases are a diverse group of tropical infections which are common in low-income populations in developing regions of Africa, Asia and the Americas. They have a range of effects from extreme pain, permanent disability to death. NTDs are classified into two groups which are Preventive Chemotherapy (PCT) and Innovative Disease Management (IDM). Examples include;
PCT NTDs include Lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis (river blindness), schistosomiasis (bilharziasis), soil-transmitted helminthiases (intestinal worms) and trachoma.
IDM NTDs include Buruli ulcer, yaws, leprosy and rabies, etc. One or more of the five (5) PCT NTDs are endemic in the four HANDS supported states of Kano, Jigawa, Yobe and FCT and over the years intervention has been going for the 5 PCT NTDs through Mass Drug Administration using the community and school platforms.
Lymphatic Filariasis and Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention
Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) is a disease caused by filarial parasites which is transmitted through the bites of infected mosquitoes. One of the symptoms of the disease is itching of the skin. Long time effects of LF includes swollen legs with rough-thickened skin. Other complications include elephantiasis which is characterized by severe swellings in the arms, legs, breasts or genitals (e.g., swollen scrotum also known as hydrocele). The infection can be acquired in childhood or adulthood and has no gender preference.
HANDS worked with her supported states to conduct mass administration of ivermectin and albendazole to 83 out of the 86 endemic LGAs for LF. 3 LGAs in Kano were not treated for LF because of insufficient albendazole. The MDA was done using Community Directed Intervention Strategy (CDI) where CDDs distribute the medicines to community members.
Morbidity management and disability prevention NTDs include lymphodema, hydrocele, yaws, buruli ulcer among others. Persons affected by the debilitation of NTDs are not only physically disabled but suffer mental, social and financial losses contributing to stigma and poverty. Within the reporting year, CBM/HANDS collaborated with the supported states to provide morbidity management (lymphodema management and hydrocele surgery) to affected members of the community.