Who is left behind in Mass Drug Administration?

November 21, 2019

Ensuring equity in the prevention of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) is critical to reach NTD elimination goals as well as to inform Universal Health Coverage (UHC). Now, researchers reporting in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases have unmasked inequities in the delivery of Mass Drug Administration (MDA) programmes that leave vulnerable populations underserved.

Individuals and communities affected by NTDs are often the poorest and most marginalized. NTDs amenable to prevention through MDA programmes have been described as the "litmus test" for UHC due to the high MDA coverage rates needed to be effective and their model of community engagement for access and acceptance of medicines.

In the new work, Laura Dean of Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, UK, and colleagues analyzed MDA programmes across Cameroon, Ghana, Liberia and Nigeria. They used both qualitative programmatic analysis and gendered intersectional theory-- which provides a framework for how power and position shape people's experiences-- to interrogate the domains of coverage within the Tanahashi Framework; availability, accessibility, acceptability, contact and effectiveness of programmes.

The team found effective treatment for individuals and communities is shaped by individual identities and the intersecting axes of inequity that converge to shape these positions, including gender, age, disability and geography. Health systems bottlenecks, challenges and limitations, sometimes due to lack of consideration and discussion of gender and equity issues have left vulnerable populations underserved in relation to the prevention and treatment of PC NTDs across all types of coverage explored within the Tanahashi framework.

"As we move toward the progressive realization of UHC, these findings should be central to discussions on providing health for all," the researchers say. "MDA campaigns have been implemented for many years and the inequities within them are only now being discussed."
-end-
In your coverage please use this URL to provide access to the freely available paper: http://journals.plos.org/plosntds/article?id=10.1371/journal.pntd.0007847

Citation: Dean L, Ozano K, Adekeye O, Dixon R, Fung EG, et al. (2019) Neglected Tropical Diseases as a 'litmus test' for Universal Health Coverage? Understanding who is left behind and why in Mass Drug Administration: Lessons from four country contexts. PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases 13(11): e0007847. https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007847

Funding: COUNTDOWN (grant ID is PO 6407) is a multi-disciplinary research consortium dedicated to investigating cost-effective, scaled-up and sustainable solutions, necessary to control and eliminate the seven most common NTDs by 2020. COUNTDOWN was formed in 2014 and is funded by UKAID part of the Department for International Development (DFID)

The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Competing Interests: The authors have declared that no competing interests exist.

PLOS

Related Treatment Articles from Brightsurf:

Treatment for teen anxiety
In a new National Institute of Mental Health-funded study, led by Jeffrey Strawn and published in the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, UC researchers took a first look at one particular medication for treatment of anxiety disorders in pediatric patients to see if it was beneficial.

A sound treatment
University of Utah biomedical engineering assistant professor Jan Kubanek has discovered that sound waves of high frequency (ultrasound) can be emitted into a patient's brain to alter his or her state.

A new treatment for liver cancer
In the latest issue of Molecular Therapy, Skoltech and MIT researchers have published a new combinatorial therapy for the treatment of liver cancer.

Improving the treatment of periodontitis
For the first time, researchers from Charité -- Universitätsmedizin Berlin have shown that a unicellular parasite commonly found in the mouth plays a role in both severe tissue inflammation and tissue destruction.

Excellent long-term stability of treatment gains of stepwise treatment for pediatric OCD
A study in the Journal of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (JAACAP), published by Elsevier, reports that the long-term stability of treatment gains for children and adolescents diagnosed with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), participating in a stepwise manualized treatment, is excellent.

When the best treatment for hypertension is to wait
A new study concluded that a physician's decision not to intensify hypertension treatment is often a contextually appropriate choice.

Is opioid treatment available to those who need it most?
The US opioid epidemic is still raging -- it's particularly pronounced in low-income areas and in those where people lack access to health care services, which includes cities in Michigan and across the Rust Belt.

Virus characteristics predict HIV treatment efficacy with antibody treatment
Current HIV-1 therapies have been proven to be highly effective in slowing the progression of the virus in the body with only minimal side effects.

Light therapy could replace opioids as main treatment for cancer treatment side effect
A worldwide coalition of researchers and clinicians has agreed that light therapy is among the most effective interventions for the prevention of oral mucositis, painful ulcers in the mouth resulting from cancer therapy.

Minimally invasive uterine fibroid treatment safer and as effective as surgical treatment
Uterine fibroid embolization (UFE) effectively treats uterine fibroids with fewer post-procedure complications compared to myomectomy, according to new research presented today at the Society of Interventional Radiology's 2019 Annual Scientific Meeting.

Read More: Treatment News and Treatment Current Events
Brightsurf.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.