Nigeria—Integrated Approach to Neglected Tropical Diseases (UNITED)

Client: U.K. Department for International Development

Duration: 2013-2017

Region: Sub-Saharan Africa

Country: Nigeria

Solutions: Health

The Integrated Approach to Neglected Tropical Diseases in Northern Nigeria programme (UNITED) aims to support the Nigerian government in controlling seven neglected tropical diseases (NTD)—blinding trachoma, bilharzia, elephantiasis, river blindness, hookworm, whipworm, and roundworm.

Sightsavers leads the consortium, with Health Partners International responsible for the health systems strengthening workstream of the UNITED programme. We are working with the Ministry of Health and other key stakeholders at federal and state level, to ensure that the national NTD control programme has the most appropriate structure, resources, capacity, plans and budgets, as well as effective coordination mechanisms across different levels of the health system. A robust health system will contribute to improving the provision of sustainable mass drug distribution, broad based communication and coordination, as well as effective use of drugs at all levels.

The targeted NTDs are preventable with proven, cost-effective interventions, such as mass drug administration, which involves distributing four drugs once or twice a year to everyone in a community to prevent the seven diseases.

As many of the NTDs are tackled using similar community mechanisms, an integrated programme implementation approach is used, in which drugs for different diseases are administered at the same time.

Led by Sightsavers, the consortium also comprises Helen Keller International, CBM, MITOSATH, Carter Centre, the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine – Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases, the London Centre for NTD Research, the Partnership for Child Development and the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, Imperial College, the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, the Natural History Museum, Accenture Development Partnerships, and Crown Agents.

Sample Activities

  • Conduct mapping of the NTDs.
  • Administer drugs.
  • Strengthen health systems.

Select Results

  • Reached 13.8 million people, with annual shot to reduce illness.
  • Distributed more than 110 million treatments in the three northern states of Kano, Katsina, and Zamfara.


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