CRT-NTD holds 4th round training for independent monitoring

Collaborative Research and Training Centre for Neglected Tropical Diseases (CRT-NTD), has conducted 4th round of two-day training for 59 AMU staff members at Nechsar Campus on 9-10 January, 2018. This time independent monitoring for Mass-Drug Administration will be carried out in five regions in Ethiopia.Click her to see the picture

CRT-NTD director, Tigist Gezmu, said till date three rounds have been completed in 9 regions, wherein around 129 woredas have been covered. The 4th round slated to begin in the month of February will continue for next three-to-four months at stretch as scheduling will be decided by the regional health bureaus.

Further she adds, this time we have two field works, first it will be independent monitoring and coverage validation survey. The novelty of this round is that henceforth data will be recorded on smart phones tailor-made for the purpose provided by donors that will expedite the process.

Schistosomiasis and Soil-transmitted Helminthes (NTD) officer from Ministry of Health, Ethiopia, said, the ministry facilitates administrative part like transferring money to university for the training, independent monitoring, etc.. He informed that in this phase 24 woredas will be covered of which 2 are from Benishangul-Gumz, 2 Gambela, 4 Tigray, 8 SNNPR and 8 Oromia regions and the target groups are children in the age group of 5-to-9 year.

It’s learnt that Ministry of Health has designed a cost-efficient integrated neglected tropical disease control program integrating disease-specific vertical programs into a coordinated initiative that links the program effectively with the general health system to enhance the impact of interventions by leveraging focus of health system. The approach will be implemented in Benishangul-Gumz, Gambela, and Tigray regions.

Two Non-Governmental Organizations, Schistosomiasis Control Initiative and Evidence Action are partners and sponsors of the project; Evidence Action provides technical in-puts. All 59 staff members of different disciplines apart from class-room training also had group discussion over lacuna observed in the previous phase and focused at corrective measures to be taken in the forthcoming phase to make it more effective.

Senior Manager of Evidence Action, Kate McCraken, imparting training said, ‘‘We teach how to monitor the process, whether drug is administered as planned, mobilize community to gauge prevailing awareness, etc. They are taught to record data using mobile phones and to upload them in real time, etc.

On ground reality, she said, it’s the only international deworming program, however, we have challenges like quality and cost-effectiveness in delivering medicines, but we have had great success in coverage. We are treating as we are said to be treating, we could perhaps benefit from more community mobilization, health education, prevention, etc.

Kate adds, frankly, we aren’t just treating disease but the problem; hence, we are looking at it holistically as we are working with Ministry of Health. The last three years’ trend shows it’s on the downturn but the data is small as we have to work more comprehensively, she quipped.

On eradication, she said, it’s our long-term 2020-goal through MDA, working with WASH partner in endemic communities in various areas including health education. To achieve this, we have to position ourselves for eradication that requires focus groups to study what really works. For treatment of 20 million children in stipulated five years span, the budget is about ETB 6 Million.

Carolyn A Henry and Markos Sileshi of Schistosomiasis Control Initiative, Mr Birhanu Getachew and Mr Fikre Seife from Ministry of Health were other trainers on the occasion.

(Corporate Communication Directorate)