Uganda Makes Strides in Neglected Tropical Disease Control

uganda makes strides in neglected tropical disease control
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Uganda is progressing significantly in its battle against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), a group of chronic illnesses affecting millions in the developing world. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), NTDs stem from various pathogens like viruses, bacteria, parasites, and fungi, causing debilitating symptoms such as blindness and disability.

In Uganda, prevalent NTDs include lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths, onchocerciasis, trachoma, and others, primarily affecting rural areas with limited access to clean water and sanitation.

The Ugandan government aims to eradicate NTDs by 2030, launching a five-year NTD Control Program in 2020. This program employs strategies like mass drug administration, vector control, and health education.

Remarkable progress has been achieved, with the country eliminating guinea worm and halting onchocerciasis transmission in 31 of 43 endemic districts. Lymphatic filariasis and trachoma, two prevalent NTDs, are anticipated to be eliminated by 2025.

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On January 30th, Uganda observed World NTD Day under the theme “Unite, Act, Eliminate,” renewing its commitment to eradicating these diseases.

“We’ve made significant strides, but there’s more work ahead,” stated Dr. Jane Ruth Aceng, Uganda‚Äôs Minister of Health.

Despite progress, challenges persist, including funding and healthcare access, particularly in remote areas.

“Funding remains a significant challenge,” remarked Dr. Alfred Mubangizi, Ag. Asst. Commissioner for Vector Borne and NTDs Division at the Uganda Ministry of Health.

Nevertheless, Uganda’s determination, bolstered by donor and international support, offers hope for a future free from NTDs.

Since 2007, USAID has been instrumental in Uganda’s NTD control and elimination efforts, delivering millions of treatments and conducting surveys to evaluate campaign impacts.

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