Lessons learnt from the implementation of mass drug administration for schistosomiasis and soil- Transmitted Helminths in Lusaka Province, Zambia
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Zambia is endemic for four of the global Preventive Chemotherapy Neglected Tropical Diseases (PC-NTD) targeted for elimination and control, namely schistosomiasis, trachoma, lymphatic filariasis (LF) and soil transmitted helminths (STH). These diseases are associated with disfigurement, reduced productivity, reduced cognitive potential and hence affect the economic development of the households, communities and the country. They largely affect communities with socioeconomic challenges, limited access to safe and clean water and lacking sanitary facilities. These diseases are preventable with chemotherapy being amenable to integrated community and school based mass drug administration coupled with PHASE strategies. This study explores lessons learnt from the implementation of mass drug administration for Schistosomiasis and Soil-transmitted helminths in Lusaka, Zambia. Lusaka province was targeted by Ministry of Community development, Mother and Child Health as the area for implementation of mass drug administration for Schistosomiasis and Soil-transmitted helminths using identified 666 health service delivery posts as drug distribution points in selected districts. A total of 2,208,617 people were targeted to be dispensed with Praziquantel, while 773,016 were targeted to be dispensed with Mebendazole in Lusaka only. These medicines were given to all children and adults considered to be at high risk of Schistosomiasis and Soil Transmitted Helminths respectively. Specific targets to be met were set. Results revealed that Luangwa, Chongwe and Shibuyunji districts surpassed their targets beyond 100%. Chirundu, Kafue and Rufunsa districts surpassed the 75% target. Lusaka district managed a coverage of 24% and this brought the overall provincial coverage to 41%. This was below the set target of 75%. In conclusion,the exercise revealed that implementation of MDA with high coverage is feasible. This needs to be improved in areas not meeting the set targets.
- Ministry of Health