Ending disease in Africa: control, elimination, and eradication efforts for neglected tropical diseases, scoping review of the literature in the WHO African Region since 1990
This report summarizes the findings of a scoping review of published literature undertaken to highlight control, elimination, and eradication efforts towards NTDs across the WHO African Region over the last 30 years.
This systematic scoping review investigated the state of control, elimination, and eradication of NTDs in the 47 Member States of WHO African Region. Peer-reviewed publications on NTDs relevant to the African Region from January 1990 to December 2022 were identified through PubMed, Web of Science, and the Cochrane database. Technical reports and guidance documents from WHO, UN, partner websites and publications, academic and research institutions were sought and reviewed. Further, availability of country-specific multi-year NTD master plans were documented. The purpose of these efforts was to find relevant technical and guidance documents on the control, elimination, and eradication of NTDs in the WHO African Region.
Four hundred and eighty peer-reviewed articles were included in this scoping review, along with six Cochrane systematic reviews and 134 technical reports or programme evaluations. Peer-reviewed articles were categorized by thematic area of focus, study location, funding entity, and NTD. The availability of a national multi-year strategic plan for NTDs was also documented for each country in the WHO African Region. The two years from 2020 to present day saw the same if not more publications compared to the 2010 decade. The main themes of most included articles were general challenges, intervention outcomes and risk factors
This report provides a description of the published literature focusing on NTD control, elimination, and eradication in the WHO African Region since the 1990s. In addition to the focus on peer-reviewed literature, it is important to also investigate and discuss implementation of NTD control programmes in the region, as there is a need to standardize the diagnostic tools, MDA campaigns, and monitoring and evaluation activities for NTD programmes. Such standardization will allow for improved comparisons of NTD elimination, eradication, and control efforts, both within countries and between countries. A more integrated approach – rather than focusing on specific diseases, individually – can maximize the impact of available resources. Additionally, more attention is needed on NTD elimination, eradication, and control efforts among mobile or displaced populations, as these important subpopulations may be a source of re-emergence or recrudescence as countries move to interrupt transmission. Similarly, there is a need to address the NTD elimination, eradication, and control efforts in areas that are hard to reach, either due to remoteness or security concerns. Further, the establishment of academic partnerships or regional centers of excellence could be beneficial.
The findings from this review can contribute to regional strategy and position to further NTD control, elimination, and eradication initiatives and contribute to the scientific evidence base generated within the African continent