Provide Technical Assistance to Countries and Other Partners

CDC responds to requests from ministries of health and non-governmental organizations to provide technical assistance to improve programs. CDC’s assistance with country programs, which focus on distribution of mass drug administration (MDA) to a target population, includes:

  • Training partner staff (e.g. laboratory, epidemiology, and health education staff)
  • Mapping the country for a disease to determine where programs are needed
  • Planning for social mobilization and educational campaigns to increase awareness of and adherence to MDA
  • Planning for monitoring and evaluation activities once the program has been established
  • Determining when it’s safe to stop MDA and implementing post-treatment surveillance

CDC in Action: Increasing Community Participation in LF Public Health Efforts in India

LF could be eliminated as a public health problem if at least 80% of people who live in at-risk areas take an annual treatment for LF for at least 5 years in a row. Although many countries have implemented annual mass drug administrations (MDAs) for the elimination of LF, there have been problems getting enough people to take the necessary medication.

A CDC-led evaluation of the MDA efforts in Orissa State, India performed in 2008 indicated less than ideal community participation in the MDA treatment. In response, a community-based educational campaign was incorporated into the next round of MDA. In addition, in some areas of Orissa State, a community-based educational program to teach people how to manage leg swelling caused by LF was implemented.

A 2009 evaluation of the program showed that these efforts helped to increase community participation from 50-55% to 75% in the areas with the MDA educational campaign and to as high as 90% in areas with both the MDA educational campaign and the program to manage leg swelling caused by LF – well above the levels estimated to be needed for a program to be effective.

The results of the study, in addition to identifying key barriers to community participation, demonstrated the importance of evaluation in improving programs and reaching program targets. This groundbreaking study was also the first to demonstrate that programs designed to help those who suffer from the long-term effects of LF can potentially improve overall community compliance with MDAs for LF prevention.