Control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) is suggested to be more cost-effective when drugs are co-administered through a single integrated delivery system rather than separate systems. An essential prerequisite for such efficiency gains is sufficient geographical overlap of the targeted diseases – lymphatic filariasis (LF), onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminth infection and trachoma. Lack of data on geographical NTD distribution currently hampers the implementation of integrated control in many African countries. To generate the required data quickly and efficiently, integrated surveys of several NTDs simultaneously have been recommended. However, experience with integrated surveys is limited and requires additional research on cost and effectiveness to inform improvements in methodology and to guide scaleup. This study analyses costs of the first integrated NTD survey round in Southern Sudan, generating average costs per implementation unit surveyed. Cost estimates are presented for use of the existing survey method and for modified versions. Key cost drivers were found to be survey consumables and personnel. The authors suggest that these inputs could be reduced or put to more efficient use by modifying sampling for LF. To generate comparable cost estimates and identify key cost drivers in other settings we provide detailed cost data and guidance on how to replicate this work.
Citation: PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, 2010; 4(7): e745.
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