Analytical summary - Neglected tropical diseases
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Leprosy, dracunculiasis, onchocerciasis, leishmaniasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, lymphatic filariasis and trachoma are among the neglected tropical diseases prevalent to varying degrees in different parts of Ethiopia. A target intervention for prevention and control of neglected tropical diseases is included in the Health Sector Development Programme IV, which covers the period from 2010 to 2014. The eight neglected tropical diseases prioritized are dracunculiasis, onchocerciasis, leishmaniasis, lymphatic filariasis, trachoma, soil transmitted helminthiasis, schistosomiasis and podoconiosis.
Onchocerciasis is endemic in western and south-western parts of the country, where an estimated 17% of the population is exposed to the risk of infection. To prevent onchocerciasis, community directed treatment with ivermectin was launched in 2001, targeting 1.2 million people. However, there are challenges, including the prioritization of control programmes and the high turnover of programme coordinators. There are nine community directed treatment with ivermectin projects running the Onchocerciasis Control Programme, covering a total population of 6 million.
Visceral leishmaniasis is a major cause of high morbidity and mortality in the Central Rift Valley and the north-western and southern parts of Ethiopia. The disease is usually endemic in the remote but fertile parts of the country with poor infrastructure, diagnostic and treatment capacities.
Blindness is one of the major public health problems of the country. With a national prevalence of 1.6%, there are 1.2 million people with all causes of blindness and 2.8 million people with low vision. Cataract and trachoma constitute more than 60% of all blindness cases. Nearly 90% of blindness cases in Ethiopia are either preventable or treatable. A 5-year VISION 2020 plan on eye care with the aim of eliminating avoidable blindness by 2020 has been developed, based on the WHO strategy to address the challenge.
Dracunculiasis is one of the diseases under eradication in Ethiopia. Ethiopia is among the 12 dracunculiasis-epidemic countries and agreed to take concerted actions to interrupt local transmission of the disease by 2009. Nonetheless, 23 indigenous cases were reported in 2009, making it difficult to make progress towards a dracunculiasis-free country. A total of 14 cases were reported in the prevalence area in 2010.
A total of 36 lymphatic filariasis endemic areas have been identified in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has a leprosy prevalence rate of less than 0.8 per 10 000 population and thus qualifies as a country that has achieved the goal of leprosy elimination.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 Health Sector Development Program IV. Annual performance report. Addis Ababa, Government of Ethiopia, Ministry of Health, 2010
- ↑ 2.0 2.1 2.2 Health Sector Development Program IV, 2010/11–2014/15. Final draft (pdf 780.81kb). Addis Ababa, Government of Ethiopia, Ministry of Health, 2010
- ↑ WHO Country Cooperation Strategy 2008–2011. Ethiopia (pdf 616.72kb). Brazzaville, World Health Organization Regional Office for Africa, 2009
- ↑ 4.0 4.1 Report of the fifth consultative meeting on leishmania/HIV coinfection (pdf 920.97kb). Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 20–22 March 2007. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2007
- ↑ Global initiative for the elimination of avoidable blindness. Action plan 2006–2011. Geneva, World Health Organization, 2007