In Kenya, AllAfrica.com, the largest electronic distributor of African news and information, that describes the burden of NTDs in Kenya, as well as identifying NTDs as one of the next major issues in global health:
For years, HIV/AIDS has caused the government a lot of worry and with good reason. From the time it was declared a national disaster, there have been numerous campaigns to sensitise the public, drowning Kenyans in information. Today, it is almost impossible to find anyone in Kenya who does not know anything about HIV/AIDS.
But now there is a new problem kid on the block: neglected tropical diseases. These are a group of chronic diseases with serious consequences that affect populations living in low-income rural areas of Africa, Asia, and the Americas. It is for this reason that neglected tropical diseases are also known as the diseases of the poor. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that at least one billion people are infected with neglected tropical diseases. In Kenya, about 50 per cent of the total population is infected with at least one neglected tropical disease. This has prompted the government to start to shift uncomfortably having half the population sick does not exactly sit well on the road map to achieving Vision 2030. The Ministry of Public Health and Sanitation has, therefore, embarked on a mission to fight the diseases. Click here to continue reading.
Check out the latest in global health and NTD news with the todays End the Neglect reading list! Today were reading about:
Distribution of filariasis tablets begins The Fiji government has announced it will be distributing anti filariasis tablets again in an effort to eliminate the disease in the country. The 2011 Mass Drug Administration (MDA) will begin next week Monday. The tablets will also be available at Health Centres and Nursing Stations in the Central, Eastern and Northern divisions. Ministry of Health spokeswoman Priscilla Govind said the Central Eastern and Northern divisions will undergo a further (9th) round of MDA scheduled for 26th September to 7th October.
Johnson & Johnson Makes Strong Progress in First Year of Initiative to Improve Health of Millions of Women and Children in the Developing World Since its launch last September, Johnson & Johnson has laid a strong foundation for measurable impact in several areas toward Every Woman, Every Child, the United Nations’ Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health to reduce mortality in women and children by 2015, including: expanding health information for mothers over mobile phones, helping to increase the number of safe births, doubling donations of treatments for intestinal worms in children Johnson & Johnson more than doubled its donation of mebendazole, a treatment for intestinal worms in children, through its Children Without Worms program, up from 36 million doses in 2010 to 80 million doses by the end of 2011. The Company plans to continue to expand this program to distribute 200 million doses each year in 30 to 40 countries by 2015.
Award-Winning LifeStraw® Water Filter Makes North American Retail Debut The award-winning LifeStraw® personal water filter is now available to consumers in the U.S. and Canada for the first time. The portable filter—used since 2005 amid harsh conditions in developing countries—removes bacteria and parasites from water, and is ideal for outdoor activities, overseas travel, and emergency preparedness. LifeStraw® is an elegantly simple but technologically advanced innovation. The filtering tube measures about nine inches long and one inch in diameter, and weighs less than two ounces. It removes virtually all bacteria (99.9999 percent) and protozoa parasites (99.9 percent) that can contaminate water, and it reduces turbidity (muddiness) by filtering out particulate matter.
Happy Friday readers! Check out the latest happenings in the world of neglected and infectious diseases on our reading list. Today were reading about:
Where Every Drop of Water Counts Mrs Nhamo Mutumba (22), a mother of one who lives in Muvhidza Village under chief Goronga in Mudzi District, is a woman who has watched the nearest Nyatikonde Dam that used to provide water for habitants of her area dry up. She has seen many meetings on how to solve the problem being attended by men while on her way to look for water.
DOH hopes to declare Oro as filariasis-free by 2012 The Department of Health (DOH) is hoping to declare Cagayan de Oro and Misamis Occidental as filariasis-free by next year. Dr. Jaime Bernadas, DOH Northern Mindanao director, said this is the fifth year that the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) has been done to persons living in endemic areas in Cagayan de Oro, Misamis Occidental and Misamis Oriental to prevent them from getting infected with filariasis.
Mass drug administration vs filariasis to include Iloilo City The city government here is joining the third round of the mass drug administration (MDA) against lymphatic filariasis slated in November. This was confirmed by Dr Ma. Jocelyn Te, coordinator of the emerging/re-emerging diseases prevention and control of the Department of Health-Center for Health Development 6 (DOH-CHD 6). The five-year MDA campaign against filariasis kicked off 2009 with the province of Iloilo as the first target and was later expanded to cover other provinces of Panay.
Indigenous elders to train up child doctors Elders in Alice Springs are selecting children aged under 10 to train them up to be so-called child doctors. Children will learn more about basic health and hygiene in the training sessions. The projects coordinators say a similar scheme in Indonesia helped prevent an outbreak of cholera after the 2004 tsunami.
Part three of our four part series featuring award-winning producer Jessica Stuart’s stories from the field:
Wednesday, June 22nd, 2011 Karuzi
We travel 4 hours of bumpy, dusty roads- passing through tea plantations, getting into traffic jams with cattle, to reach the Karuzi Province. This is a place that doesn’t often have outside visitors, so the cars themselves were a spectacle of mass proportion; not to mention the blonde sunburned woman and the tall South African man with sound gear strapped to him.
We visited a school called Canzikiro and were greeted by thousands of smiling faces. And yet, I am great crowd control because children think I am a ghost or an angel, they either run away or run to me!
We spoke with a teacher and she enthusiastically told us that she sees more children coming to school because they are healthy and because their families are healthy. She has seen a difference of children paying attention in class and able to focus. The teacher, herself was pregnant. She miscarried the first time, possibly due to anemia from worms herself, but is looking forward to the birth of her first baby next month. There is possibility.
In the afternoon we traveled down more bumpy roads to Bugenyuzi,, a community with approximately 11 percent of the population suffering from Trachoma. This is a new program and the inhabitants of this community press us for more. They want to know when we are coming back, when the next round of medicine is coming, and how we can help stop the suffering. The area we are in is difficult to get to. The word “remote” doesn’t do justice to its location. These are the bottom billion. These are the poor that are rarely reached, stuck in a cycle of poverty, yet with a desire to do for themselves. They just need a lift, a boost; and we can do that for less than 50 cents. The drugs are there. The knowledge is there. We can eliminate NTDs even from the places and in the corners no one is looking.
That evening, we sit down to a goat brochette, a gin and tonic and a cold shower from a bucket and a cup. There are no mosquito nets, so I sleep with my hooded sweatshirt on, a half bottle of DEET burning my skin, and hope for the best.Malaria is the least of my worries at this point.