In northern Haiti, teams of health workers from the Ministry of Health and Population, supported by the RTI-led USAID flagship neglected tropical disease project, ENVISION, test school-aged children for lymphatic filariasis (LF) to determine the level of progress being made towards eliminating this debilitating disease.
In school after school, children line up to collect lollipops and have their fingers pricked. The results take ten minutes to appear on small field test strips. Confirming that transmission has been interrupted takes at least three rounds of testing over about five years. If these health districts are successful with this test, there will be only one assessment left until they can declare elimination of LF as a public health problem.
Communities are at the forefront of the fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Involving specialists in the response is one of the main reasons for its success. We sat down with community mobilizers and health workers to learn about their experiences working to ensure that the children of Haiti grow up in a country free of NTDs. [Full Story]