PCT focuses on diseases for which a strategy exists as well as on tools and the availability of safe and effective drugs that make it feasible to implement large-scale preventive chemotherapy.
The diseases include cysticercosis, dracunculiasis (guinea-worm disease), foodborne trematode infections, lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis. Blinding trachoma control through the SAFE strategy – combining drug treatment with hygiene and environmental management – can be linked to helminth control interventions to improve the overall health of affected communities.
Helminth infections impose a great burden on poor populations in the developing world. Yet there are robust, low-cost and effective public health interventions that can relieve that burden and enable people in poor settings to lead better lives. Preventive anthelminthic chemotherapy aims at using available anthelminthic drugs either alone or in combination as a public health tool for preventing morbidity due to more than one form of helminthiasis at once.
The emphasis of preventive chemotherapy is therefore on the best, coordinated use of drugs rather than on specific forms of helminthiasis. The greatest challenge is to expand regular anthelminthic drug coverage as a public health intervention to reach all at risk of morbidity induced by helminth diseases.
Monitoring, which measures process indicators, should be carried out at the district level, as well as at provincial, national, regional and global levels.
Apart from ensuring that activities are being implemented in the agreed manner, effective monitoring allows decision-makers to stay aware of all problems and constraints that may slow progress, and provides the information they may need to refine their planning and implementation of programme activities.
One of Fivestrategies recommended by WHO to prevent and control NTD'sRefer to page 21
72 CountriesThe number of countries reported treatment data for 2011Full article [pdf 388kb]
728 MillionNumber of people reached by preventive chemotherapy in 2011Full article [pdf 646kb]