Research

Research has played a key role in the success of programs aiming to overcome the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs), from defining the initial control and elimination strategies to more recent efforts to improve and validate new tools for monitoring and evaluation. These efforts have provided a valuable framework to guide initiatives to eliminate lymphatic filariasis (LF), onchocerciasis, and trachoma and to scale up other ‘preventive chemotherapy’ (PC) programs targeting schistosomiasis and soil transmitted helminths (STH), but the job is not finished; additional understanding is needed especially to finalize endgame strategies for each disease and to adapt and refine these strategies to a programmatic context that pursues the goal of integrated control and elimination of NTDs. 

The NTD Support Center thus supports research addressing three primary objectives detailed below. For a map of where the research projects are being implemented, click here

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Overcoming obstacles to program implementation

Despite major progress during the past ten years in initiating and expanding programs targeting the NTDs, many programs face major challenges to scaling up.

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Refining endgame strategies for NTD elimination

Elimination is a stated or aspirational goal for the NTDs targeted by preventive chemotherapy, but improved tools and a better understanding of the strategies to evaluate program impact are needed.

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Ensuring sustainability of program achievements

Scaling down successful programs or transitioning from morbidity control to transmission control introduces challenges that are both technical and social, particularly in terms of the expectations of communities and health workers.