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Drug Coverage Surveys for Neglected Tropical Diseases: 10 Years of Field Experience

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  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia

Mass drug administration is one of the public health strategies recommended by the World Health Organization for the control and elimination of seven neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). Because adequate coverage is vital to achieve program goals, periodically conducting surveys to validate reported coverage to guide NTD programs is recommended. Over the past decade, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and collaborators conducted more than 30 two-stage cluster household surveys across three continents. The questionnaires gathered coverage data and information relevant to improving NTD programs including NTD-related attitudes and practices. From the 37 coverage survey estimates obtained in those surveys, 73.3% indicated an over reporting of coverage, including all three that assessed school-based distributions. It took an average of 1 week to conduct a survey. Our experiences led us to conclude that coverage surveys are useful and feasible tools to ensure NTD elimination and control goals are reached.

Author Notes

*Address correspondence to Els Mathieu, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Division of Parasitic Diseases, Mail stop F–22, 4770 Buford Highway, NE, Atlanta, GA 30341–3724. E-mail: emm7@cdc.gov

Financial support: We thank all the donors, including Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, RTI/USAID, CDC, Children without Worms, GSK, ITI and MDP for financing the surveys.

Authors' addresses: Caitlin Worrell and Els Mathieu, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention - Division of Parasitic Diseases, Atlanta, GA, E-mails: uvz2@cdc.gov and emm7@cdc.gov.

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