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Mass Drug Administration coverage a success

Zimbabwe has managed to be among the four best countries to implement Mass Drug Administration (MDA) in the African Region, it qualifies now to do a re-impact assessment and this is recognized regionally.
In an interview during the MDA review meeting currently in Kariba, with the University of Zimbabwe Lecturer Professor Nicholas Midzi commended the provinces for the hard work they did to surpass the WHO standards


“For deworming schistosomiasis (bilharzia) we have been having a good trend for the country this is inspiring our auditors. We are supposed to do it for five years to reach 75% coverage but we have managed to reach that goal every year,” he said.
“We started very well with Lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) our coverage was high last year but this year its low and that is a bit discouraging maybe we can lengthen the period. There is a need to include in our IEC material a message that LF is meant to be taken for five years and the disease will be cleared totally.
Ministry of Health and Child Care Deputy Director Epidemiology and Disease Control/ Communicable diseases acknowledged Harare City and Bulawayo City for extending their coverage as it was low in the previous years.
“We are happy with coverage you managed to cover this year, it was through your hard work especially for Schistosomiasis but Lymphatic filariasis we still far away to cover our targeted population,” he said.

UNICEF global partnership for education manager Dr Nilchat Shameen said worm infection affect language and memory development of children.

“Treatment for worm infection has positive effects on memory development of children. Thus advocacy for prevention activities and linking deworming with other interventions for mothers and children Vitamin A supplementation, anemia and iron deficiency, provision of safe water, provision of safe sanitation, hygiene education and promotion through the school health programme are very important for us to eradicate the diseases.” she said.

She said as an organization they will continue to work with the Ministry of Health in fighting the NTD’s.           
There were commendable strides which were done by the Ministry; Mashonaland Central province said they did not encounter problems in procuring drugs from NAT farm. All districts received medicines.
Lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) and schistosomiasis (bilharzia) are among the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD’s). NTD’s are group of medically diverse infectious diseases that thrive in impoverished settings, especially in the heat and humidity of tropical climates.
Most are parasitic diseases, spread by vectors. Others are spread by contaminated water and soil infested with the eggs of worms.
Of the world’s poorest 2.7 billion people in Africa, Asia and Latin America (defined as those who live on less than US$ 2.00 a day), more than 1 billion are affected by one or more neglected tropical disease.
Group of diseases that are considered not to have received sufficient attention from donor community and public health planners


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