It Can Be Done: An Integrated Approach for Controlling and Eliminating Neglected Tropical Diseases

Aug 2014
The Latin American and Caribbean (LAC) region has experienced dramatic gains in health and life expectancy in the past century. Yet hundreds of millions of people in the region are still at risk of contracting at least one Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD), a class of diseases that cause chronic suffering and disabilities, impede physical and social development, and result in stigmatization of people living in poverty. Unfortunately, many existing programs designed to combat NTDs are underfunded, do not collaborate with each other, and are not integrated with the general health system and other sectors vital for addressing risk factors.This book analyzes the efforts made by the Neglected Tropical Disease Initiative in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC NTD Initiative) to control or eliminate these dreadful diseases through integrated NTD programs that address multiple diseases by combining interventions from health, water and sanitation, education, and other sectors in a unified, coordinated way. It shares the LAC NTD Initiatives experiences advocating for the financing, design, and implementation of integrated programs to combat the diseases, and it highlights several important lessons learned and challenges confronted throughout the process. Unlike previous works, this book employs a single conceptual framework to compare and contrast the integration of projects implemented in different contexts. The experiences, case studies, and analyses presented here offer ideas and best practices for building partnerships for promoting NTD control, and for integrating the management structures, financing arrangements, implementation, and monitoring and evaluation activities of NTD projects and programs. Accordingly, the LAC NTD Initiative believes that this book is a valuable resource for donors, advocates, policy makers and program managers who are working to control and eliminate NTDs in LAC and around the world.