The 17 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) prioritised by the World Health Organization comprise diseases caused by a variety of parasitic pathogens. These diseases most acutely affect the poorest communities in underserved regions, causing disability, social stigma, economic hardship and sometimes death. Many NTDs can be controlled through preventive chemotherapy, which is commonly provided to target populations through integrated mass drug administration (MDA). Preventive chemotherapy must also be complemented by effective case management, vector control and the adoption of basic sanitation and hygiene practices.
Coverage rates of MDA interventions are largely dependent on community perceptions, experiences and understanding of both NTDs and MDA. One method of increasing the acceptability of interventions as well as increasing awareness of NTDs is through community dialogues, which build on existing social structures to enable communities to take informed collective action. Funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the UK government, this project aims to assess the effectiveness of the community dialogues approach in enhancing community participation and improving knowledge and practices for the prevention and control of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) at the community level. Dialogues will centre on schistosomiasis, which is highly endemic in Mozambique.
Activities will be implemented in all communities in four districts of Nampula province in northern Mozambique: Mecubúri, Eráti, Morrupula and Mogovolas.
Learn more about the COMDIS-HSD programme here.