Integrated community-based interventions: Business Plan 2008-2013
Several effective and simple interventions are available to prevent or treat infectious diseases of poverty such as malaria and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). However these interventions often do not reach the affected populations that need them most, in particular, the poor and rural populations in Africa. Innovative ways of getting effective interventions to affected poor people are urgently needed. Community-based delivery strategies have been developed for different diseases, but vary in terms of community involvement, effectiveness and sustainability. Different control programmes implement their community-based strategies independently, resulting in inefficiencies and conflicting practices at the community level. There is an urgent need for effective strategies for co-implementation of community based interventions that build on effective models such as home management of malaria and community-directed treatment of onchocerciasis in which communities are empowered to manage the process themselves. Recent studies have indicated that co-implementation using the community directed model can greatly increase access to health interventions among poor populations, in line with WHO goals to promote integrated approaches that strengthen health systems.