Training workshop for national managers of neglected tropical disease (NTD) programmes
Under WHO's guidance, a training workshop for national managers of neglected tropical disease (NTD) programmes was been held in Benin, 25 to 29 February 2008.
Twenty-five participants from 12 Francophone African countries (Angola, Benin, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Cameroon, Central African Republic, Madagascar, Mali, Niger, Rwanda, Senegal and Togo) attended and discussed how to:
- identify problems and constraints associated with implementing the preventive chemotherapy strategy - from the national and the district-level perspective;
- identify the strengths, added benefits and advantages of a coordinated preventive chemotherapy approach;
- to develop and plan NTD public health programmes using preventive chemotherapy as the strategy's backbone.
At the end of the workshop, individually tailored draft national plans for implementing the preventive chemotherapy strategy were prepared by each of the participants.
Assisting WHO-HQ to successfully run this workshop were the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) programme, the The Danish Bilharziasis Laboratory (DBL)-Centre for Health Research and Development, the Fondazione Ivo de Carneri Onlus and the Research Triangle Institute (RTI).
In June 2007, a similar workshop was held in Pemba, United Republic of tanzania for Anglophone African countries. The same teaching and information sharing format was used with important inputs and lessons-learnt incorporated from the Benin experience.
WHO will be now counting on this pool of experts from across the African continent to share their first hand experience of NTD programming and provide technical support to the endemic countries who are in the process of developing and implementing their own national and district plans.