Uganda Launches Neglected Tropical Disease Master Plan

October 07, 2013

The National Master Plan for Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme (2013-2017) was launched on Saturday, October 5, 2013 in Entebbe at an event attended by high-level Uganda government officials, NTD program managers from various African countries, and major donors and partners in the control and elimination of NTDs.  The national NTD Master Plan provides a road map for Uganda to be free of NTDs by 2020 and recommits the government and partners to achieving this goal. 

The Honorable Minister of Health, Dr. Ruhakana Rugunda, was delegated by His Excellency the President of Uganda Yoweri Kaguta Museveni to preside over the event, demonstrating strong government commitment to ending the suffering of Ugandan people due to neglected tropical diseases.    

Uganda has a high burden of NTDs, with all 112 districts endemic for at least one of the USAID-targeted NTDs including lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, and trachoma. However, within districts the diseases are not uniformly co-endemic, resulting in a complex distribution of prevalence that necessitates carefully integrated programming. Significant progress has been made in recent years, with the country close to being certified free of Guinea worm disease and a number of districts on the way to interrupting transmission of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis and achieving trachoma elimination goals.

RTI International has been supporting the Uganda Ministry of Health since 2007 to carry out NTD program interventions, first as part of the NTD Control Program (2006-2012) and currently through the ENVISION project, both funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development.

With this support, the Uganda NTD program has geographically scaled up treatment, reaching national coverage for several of the neglected tropical diseases.  Disease mapping—critical for determining where prevention activities and distribution of medicines are needed—is reaching completion in all districts for all NTDs.   

Lisa Rotondo, ENVISION Deputy Technical Director, pledged RTI’s commitment to NTD control and elimination in Uganda, stating that “the launch of this Master Plan is a bold step forward by Uganda. NTDs are a scourge which should not be allowed to continue causing disability, ill health and mortality in endemic communities.”

ENVISION support in Uganda is funded by the U.S. Agency for International development and is provided by RTI International and The Carter Center. In support of Uganda Ministries of Health and Education, the program engages with a wide range of dedicated stakeholders, including Sightsavers, the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, the World Health Organization and the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control. Click here for more information on ENVISION’s NTD work in Uganda.

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