What is the evidence, from academic or other sources, comparing integrate versus disease-specific NTD control programmes and what are the key evidence gaps in this area?
Delivery of integrated neglected tropical disease (NTD) control programmes with similar strategic approaches, geographical overlap and prevalence can minimise costs and expand intervention coverage. This has been evidenced through mass drug administration (MDA) of preventive chemotherapy for lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, three soil-transmitted helminth infections and trachoma. Where programmes lack a common, simplistic approach and NTD co-endemicity, integration of delivery of NTD control programmes is not necessarily warranted.
However, integration of NTD programmes with other disease-specific programmes with operational synergies, with vector control efforts, with other sectors e.g. with WASH to break transmission of NTDs, and within the broader health system will be needed to prevent, control, eliminate and eradicate NTDs and this will demand increased collaboration. Research needs to increase in scope to develop better evidence on the effect of NTDs on mental health in patients and caregivers, to include equity analysis and to address social determinants such as stigmatisation.