Commentary by Spear, R. on "Integration of water, sanitation, and hygiene for the prevention and control of neglected tropical diseases: a rationale for inter-sectoral collaboration:" can the control of NTDs profit from a good WASH?
The deliberations of the working group presented in this report offer an interesting and timely summary that again raises issues that have long been apparent to many of us who work on the control of neglected tropical diseases. In short, the central issue they address is how best to integrate the widespread use of chemotherapeutic drugs administered to human and/or animal populations with more sustainable, but usually more expensive, environmental modifications to reduce disease transmission. The evidence from the field suggests that we have ineffectively marketed the need for an integrated approach both to ourselves and to policy makers within and outside the public health world. Many of the key issues and challenges are well articulated in the report, including capacity building and training that are increasingly necessary in an era of rapidly changing tools for disease surveillance as well as for control.