Community-directed distributors: the ‘foot soldiers’ in the fight to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases

Journal: PLOS NTDs


Community-directed distributors (CDDs) are critical in the delivery of medicines and other tools for the control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), prevention of malaria and other beneficial health interventions. The distributors are the unsung heroes and heroines without whom the health of hundreds of thousands of communities in rural Africa would be worse than it is today.

This paper documents more than two decades (1997–2019) of the contributions of 4.8 million CDDs of medicines for NTDs across 27 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. The authors recommend policy measures for a wider application of existing networks of CDDs by countries’ health systems to consolidate and accelerate the achievements made as well as for the attainment of the goals set forth in the newly developed World Health Organization NTD Roadmap.

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Publication details
Date published
4 March 2021
Opinion piece