“Accelerating Programmatic Action… Comprehensive Multi-Sectoral Technical Assistance …”
They are very useful terms for those who work in public health. These terms were used a lot in our new 5-year strategy. Time like this may be confusing to those of us not in the public health field. Here’s a quick guide to the key concepts of our strategy.
From disease control to eliminating diseases
Over a billion parasitic infections have been treated, mainly in children. This has helped to prevent crippling disease for hundreds of millions.
This is something we’re extremely proud of. There’s still more work to do.
According to the WHO road map, which outlines neglected tropical diseases for 2021-2030, we aim to not only treat parasitic diseases but also eliminate them.
There is evidence that deworming treatments for school-age children are insufficient to eliminate parasitic diseases.
We will also address the other major causes of parasitic diseases, including unsafe water contact, transmission between animals and people, and transmission from animals to humans.
We support health equity and stronger health systems.
A woman shows the Praziquantel treatment for schistosomiasis during a mass drug distribution in Pemba, Zanzibar. Credit: Unlimited Health/William Mgobela
It is impossible to eliminate parasitic diseases without dealing with the factors that create a constant risk of infection.
The lack of health equity and poverty are both closely linked to these conditions. Parasitic disease thrives in communities that lack basic services, such as access to clean water and sanitation.
Our new strategy focuses on supporting health systems that provide a full range of health services, including prevention of disease transmission, treatment of parasitic diseases and their consequences, and care of those who need them.
The deworming treatment is a key pillar in our work.
We will continue to work with our partners to provide millions of deworming treatments each year.
We will also help our partners expand their treatment programs. To improve health for all, we need to develop access to parasitic disease treatment for those who are currently excluded – such as younger children, pregnant women, and other adults at risk.
We also aim to make treatment and elimination efforts more effective and sustainable by focusing them on areas with the greatest need.
We support the ownership of countries.
Kalanga is the language of training for community health workers. Credit: Unlimit Health/Malaika Media
Health services that are widely accessible and effective can only be created when countries with endemic populations determine the funding and priorities for health systems, as they are best positioned to understand their needs and preferences. In line with the Sustainable Development Agenda and the WHO’s goals, we have re-emphasized our support for the ownership of health programs by countries in our new strategy. We will do everything we can to help our colleagues in endemic countries by putting our expertise at their disposal.