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WHO Launches Enriched Portal to Improve Disease Data Tracking

The World Health  Organisation, WHO,  Regional Office for Africa has launched a new and improved version of its online portal, providing better access to more detailed country-specific data relating to Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) across Africa. 

Through the Expanded Special Project for Elimination of NTDs (ESPEN), the WHO Regional Office for Africa has made several improvements to its online portal. This user-friendly platform allows Ministries of Health and other users to access data on NTDs on a sub-national level, to identify specific areas where interventions are needed most. 

The in-depth, sub-national data provides an accurate picture of NTD prevalence across each country, enabling national NTD programs to make better-informed decisions and distribute resources most efficiently.

Specifically, the ESPEN portal provides access to data on the five most prevalent NTDs that respond to preventive chemotherapy (PC – NTDs).

Today, NTDs affect 1.58 billion people globally, 39% of whom live in Africa. These diseases are both preventable and treatable, yet they continue to cause severe disfigurement and other long-term disabilities that create obstacles to education, employment, economic growth and overall development.

Evidence-based decision making against NTDs is crucial for progress.  Through the Portal, ESPEN publishes data to improve the coordination of efforts and counter the use of inconsistent data, and ultimately, increasing the pace of progress. The Portal offers access to new interactive maps from 48 countries and downloadable data from 44 countries, including annual reports, country master plans and epidemiology.

The electronic platform is designed to enable health ministries and stakeholders to more easily share and exchange programme data to accelerate the elimination of several NTDs, including schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, Trachoma, Lymphatic Filariasis and river blindness (onchocerciasis).

Ultimately the ESPEN portal is designed to help countries meet the UN’s sustainable development goal 3.3, which aims to achieve NTD elimination by 2030.

Medical World Nigeria

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