Stories from the Field

Burkina Faso’s Minister of Health Advocates for Neglected Tropical Disease Control With International Partners

05/01/2010

Burkina Faso is leading the call for increased governmental and donor support for integrated NTD control. Building on the country’s recent success in this area, Burkina Faso’s Minister of Health, His Honorable Mr. Bedouma Alain Yoda, is sponsoring the development of an NTD referendum among the 15 member states of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). The referendum will promote integrated NTD control in western Africa and the development of an international fund to support NTD efforts throughout the developing world.

This effort reflects the new movement of both international organizations and national governments toward the creation of integrated NTD control programs. With funding from both USAID and the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative (SCI), the Government of Burkina Faso in 2006 established an NTD control program to integrate the treatment of the five most common NTDs (lymphatic filariasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, onchocerciasis, and trachoma). The Burkina Faso NTD Control Program is a coordinating organization that helps the disease-specific control programs already conducting mass treatment campaigns work as an integrated team. Burkina Faso’s first integrated mass treatment campaign took place in 2007 and a second, more expansive campaign took place in 2008. Through these campaigns, 4.4 million people received integrated treatment, including 3.4 million children treated for schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis and 1 million people treated for trachoma.

Funds from the USAID NTD Control Program and the SCI have enabled Burkina Faso’s NTD Control Program to initiate integrated activities and the Burkina Faso Ministry of Health has worked to increase funding and support for NTD control, both within Burkina Faso and in western Africa. The Ministry has developed an NTD advocacy plan and His Honorable Mr. Bedouma Alain Yoda has been actively promoting NTD control.