From river blindness to neglected tropical diseases – lessons learned in Africa for programme implementation and expansion by non-governmental partners


A summary of the development of the non-governmental networks supporting the NTD programmes, and a review the lessons learned that have equipped the NGDOs to step up their support to NTD control and elimination. At the beginning of the 1990s, a small group of seven NGDOs began to work together to support onchocerciasis control.

Today, more than 50 international and national NGDOs (of which 30 collaborate at the international level) work together to control or eliminate five priority NTDs affecting more than one billion of the poorest people. This achievement has been made possible by developing networks of NGDOs and partnerships with governments of the endemic countries, with international and bilateral agencies, with drug donation programmes for specific diseases, and with the communities affected by those diseases.

By 2011, NGDOs reported support in 125 countries to more than 330 million treatments for five priority diseases: onchocerciasis, trachoma, lymphatic filariasis (LF), schistosomiasis, and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STH). These diseases have effective mass drug administration (MDA) strategies supported by donated or very-low-cost drugs available to control or eliminate them.

Read the journal article
Publication details
Date published
14 May 2015