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Expansions of medicine donations are not the only solution to improving treatment of neglected tropical diseases - 25 May 2019

last modified Jul 08, 2019 04:04 PM
Research by Dr Goylette Chami and colleagues Published in Lancet Infectious Diseases identifies how to integrate mass drug administration into universal health coverage packages.

Expansions of medicine donations are not the only solution to improving treatment of neglected tropical diseases.

Research by Dr Goylette Chami and colleagues Published in Lancet Infectious Diseases identifies how to integrate mass drug administration into universal health coverage packages.

 Mass medicines news Uganda

A review from the Department of Pathology at the University of Cambridge has been published that discusses how best to combine mass drug administration (MDA) with on-demand access to treatment and how best to improve endemic country commitments to universal health coverage.

This work arose from a panel discussion on the Access to Medicines that was held on Feb. 8, 2018 in King’s College Cambridge and the Department of Pathology. https://soundcloud.com/user-506806647-613533892/access-to-medicines-for-neglected-tropical-diseases

Over 1.9 billion people worldwide, who mostly reside in poor communities of low-income countries, require treatment through MDA. MDA is the en masse distribution of preventive chemotherapies to treatment human helminthiases. Infections treated through MDA—often the only treatment strategy—include schistosomiasis (snail fever), soil-transmitted helminths (gut worms), onchocerciasis (river blindness), lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis), and trachoma.

Here we propose a conceptual framework, which is split into five steps, for the sustainable treatment of neglected tropical diseases. Medicine donations and rapid-impact treatment strategies constitute essential early steps towards delivering medicines in a sustainable manner to at-risk individuals. However, there remains a need to improve health system integration and the roles of endemic countries in ensuring medicines are delivered to patients.

This work is part of a larger research programme in Uganda, led by Dr Goylette Chami and the Uganda Ministry of Health, which combines computational approaches and field biology to improve the treatment of neglected tropical diseases.

The paper is published in the journal Lancet Infectious Diseases.

Contact: Dr Goylette Chami at gjc36@cam.ac.uk