Comic Relief has awarded SCI a grant for £105,496 to treat an additional 616,962 Malawians for three NTDs in Dedza and Salima districts, in Malawi.
Comic Relief has awarded SCI a grant for £105,496 to increase the uptake of treatment for the NTDs (schistosomiasis (SCH) lymphatic filariasis (LF) and soil-transmitted helminths (STH)), in Dedza and Salima districts, in Malawi. The target will be to reach at least 365,408 school-aged children (SAC) and 251,554 adults, thus an additional 616,962 Malawians will receive the treatment they require.
The Malawi Ministry of Health (MoH) has been very pro-active in its efforts to tackle the problem of NTDs nationally due to the high percentage of the population infected with one or more NTDs. In 2008 the Malawi Ministry of Health (MoH) developed its first National Strategic Plan for NTDs (2008 -2011) and then subsequently developed its second, the Master Plan Of Action For NTDs (2011 – 2015). However implementation of these plans has been severely restricted due to the limited financial resources of the MoH.
Since 2010, external support has been provided to the MoH through a collaboration of organisations funded by the Department for International Development (DFID) UK. These are SCI for schistosomiasis and STH control, CNTD Liverpool for lymphatic filariasis elimination and Sightsavers for trachoma control. These partners work closely together to support the NTD control efforts of the MoH. The MoH provides the infrastructure within which to guide the control and elimination strategy and most importantly the substantial human resource for delivering the medicines. The pharmaceutical industry donates the majority of these medicines required and the partners provide the technical and financial support needed to reach the target populations.
The Government of Malawi is committed and proactive in its efforts to control and eliminate their endemic NTDs. Following three years of collaboration between SCI and the MoH, SCI applied to Comic Relief for funding to deliver treatments to two districts where coverage of SAC has not been adequate and at risk adults have been left untreated. The award from Comic Relief will narrow the current funding gap which prevents achievement of national coverage. We will use the funds to demonstrate the enormous benefit of the implementation of triple drug administration (TDA).
Thus with Comic Relief’s help the health of at least 616,962 individuals will be improved by significantly reducing or eliminating the NTD worm burden within each person. This should subsequently reduce anaemia, increase nutritional levels thus preventing growth retardation and protect against the development of organ damage to their liver, bladder and lymphatic system.
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Mrs Alexandra Grainger
School of Public Health
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