Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a diverse group of parasitic and bacterial diseases that cause significant morbidity and mortality and affect more than 1 billion people worldwide. The Act to End NTDs | West (Act | West) program supports 11 African countries to eliminate lymphatic filariasis, trachoma and, in some countries, onchocerciasis as public health problems and to sustain treatment for long-term control of schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis and, in some countries, onchocerciasis. Act | West works with ministries of health and other government entities.
- Strengthening interventions — The program is increasing NTD treatment efforts in highly endemic areas — including hard-to-reach communities — integrating treatment with maternal and child health; water, sanitation and hygiene; nutrition; and education platforms. Teams also conduct communication and behavior change interventions at the community level.
- Enhancing capacity for monitoring, evaluation and learning — Act | West is working with implementing countries to increase their disease surveillance capacity and improve data quality and analysis for decision-making.
- Ensuring a mainstreamed, sustainable NTD response — To raise awareness and improve government ownership, the program is increasing local advocacy efforts and strengthening government technical and operational capacities in areas such as resource mobilization, systems strengthening and cross-sectoral collaboration.
Act | West is funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), is managed by FHI 360, and is supported by partners including Helen Keller International, Health and Development International, Deloitte, World Vision, and American Leprosy Missions. The program works in Benin, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo.