END Neglected Tropical Diseases in Africa (END in Africa) works in Burkina Faso, Ghana, Niger, Sierra Leone and Togo to reduce the prevalence of five neglected tropical diseases: lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthes and trachoma. In Ghana, END in Africa is facilitating a mass drug administration program for disease control and prevention, which treats over 20 million Ghanaians, including more than 7 million school-aged children.
As the lead implementing agency in Ghana, FHI 360 and its partners have trained over 58,000 community drug distributors, teachers, supervisors, trainers and health service staff in activities related to mass drug administration. We also developed a supply chain management strategy to monitor drugs and logistics; instituted mass drug administration surveillance for lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis and trachoma; strengthened the monitoring and evaluation capacity at all levels; and began implementing a revised treatment strategy for schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthes.
END in Africa recently piloted an innovative financial and project management capacity-building exercise in Ghana to support the national neglected tropical diseases control program. Using a program management tool called the maturity matrix, the exercise helps countries identify and resolve financial management bottlenecks in their national programs.
In January 2013, END in Africa began training Ghanaian program staff in the use of the Tool for Integrated Planning and Costing (TIPAC) for neglected tropical diseases. Ghana will be the first END in Africa country to use this tool, which is expected to facilitate and streamline national neglected tropical disease program planning and budget preparation.