National Institute for Medical Research
Dar es Salaam
World Health Organisation Regional Office for Africa - www.afro.who.int
Achievements, constraints, challenges and lessons learnt
One of the greatest achievements of the African PRG is obtaining the enthusiasm of endemic countries to join the programme. The demand from them for assistance is far greater than the means available and this has resulted in a prolonged period of disease mapping in those countries that are already implementing MDA; a slow rate of scaling up of national programmes to cover all the at-risk populations; and stagnation in the number of active programmes.
In the active programmes, greater effort needs to be put into achieving and sustaining high therapeutic and geographical coverage rates. Insufficient funding is the major constraint. At this stage, the need for good evaluation data is critical and all efforts need to be carried out to obtain them. The major lesson learnt is that, for sustainability of the Global Programme, country ownership of the programmes, partnership-building at local, regional and global levels, as well as creation of synergies between disease control programmes, need to be highly encouraged.
Estimated population at risk is 420 million (38% of global burden) and by end of 2005, 139.5 million identified to be at risk in 21 countries where mapping is completed. 11 countries have implemented MDA.
Partners making financial and technical contributions to national programmes in the region include:
national governments, Merck and Co. Inc., GlaxoSmithKline, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the Department for International Development, United Kingdom, Health and Development International (HDI), Catholic Medical Missions Board, Liverpool LF Support Centre, The Carter Center/Global 2000, Fondation pour le Développement Communautaire (FDC), Hellen Keller International (HKI), International Medical Assistance (IMA), Government of Luxembourg, Handicap International, Mectizan Donation Program, Christofel Blinden Mission and Sight Savers International.