Determinants of willingness to work among neglected tropical diseases (NTD) programme implementers during health shocks: case of NTD implementers in Ogun State during the COVID-19 pandemic

Main objectives

  • To explore the knowledge and attitudes of neglected tropical disease (NTD) implementers about the COVID-19 pandemic
  • To determine the factors responsible for implementers’ willingness to work to deliver NTD interventions during a pandemic


The COVID-19 pandemic has placed unprecedented demands on the skills and expertise of the health workforce, and their commitment to their profession has been severely tested (Balicer et. al, 2010). The World Health Organization (WHO) emphasises the use of existing NTD platforms and surveillance mechanisms to support the implementation of COVID-19-related measures, while delivering and supporting prompt diagnosis, treatment and care of NTD patients presenting to healthcare facilities, as these are critical interventions (WHO, 2020).

However, an important question we need to ask is: who will deliver those other essential critical interventions? It is important to note that health workers and NTD implementers supporting pandemic responses like COVID-19 also need to be safe to respond appropriately. While most countries have mobilized other implementers during the pandemic, failure to protect them from infection due to poor working conditions, including a lack of personal protective equipment, has had significant personal and public health consequences.

It is therefore vital to develop more resilient health systems which can ensure the safety of the health workforce while ensuring access to needed services during health emergencies.

As part of the COUNTDOWN programme, researchers carried out a study into implementers’ willingness to work during and after a pandemic outbreak. This involved carrying out a cross-sectional survey with NTD implementers at the community, health facility and state levels in Ogun state, Nigeria.

Study details
Start date
September 2020
Finish date
November 2020
Main contact
Diltokka Gideon Kevin
Health Economist
  • Sightsavers
  • Federal Ministry of Health (FMoH), Nigeria
  • Ogun State Ministry of Health