Uniting to Combat NTDs launch the NTD index on the ALMA scorecard

On January 28 2018 at the 30th African Union summit, heads of state and ministers reviewed progress on neglected tropical diseases as part of the African Leaders Malaria Alliance (ALMA) scorecard for the first time at the annual ALMA event.

Uniting to Combat NTDs collaborated with the World Health Organization on this NTD progress index for the ALMA scorecard. The index provides an overview of a country’s progress against the five NTDs amenable to preventive chemotherapy including lymphatic filariasis.

By adding NTDs to the scorecard, African leaders are making a public commitment to hold themselves accountable for progress on these diseases. The scorecard will continue to be reviewed annually by African heads of state at the African Union summit in January.

The NTD index highlights many great achievements in the fight against lymphatic filariasis and the other diseases amenable to preventive chemotherapy. These include:

  • 55% of people who required preventive chemotherapy for LF received treatment in 2016.
  • Togo becoming the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to achieve elimination of LF as a public health problem.
  • Malawi meeting the criteria to stop preventive chemotherapy for LF and now confirming elimination through surveillance.
  • Zimbabwe started preventive chemotherapy for LF in 2016 and reported coverage rates of 79% in the first year of activity. This means that 6 million people received treatment for LF for the first time.

While most data points to progress, the scorecard shows areas that need improvement. To support countries, the scorecard includes country-specific recommendations on how they can improve their coverage and these will be monitored every 3 months to track progress and identify bottlenecks.

Check out the NTD index on the Uniting to Combat NTDs website to learn more about how African countries are progressing against NTDs amenable to mass treatment.