Health Campaign Integration Related to Neglected Infectious Diseases in Latin America and the Caribbean: A Landscape Analysis

View the brief in:

The Health Campaign Effectiveness Coalition and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) published this technical brief with three goals: to provide an overview of program experiences with conducting integrated health campaigns in the LAC Region related to three NIDs–soil-transmitted helminthiases (STH), trachoma, and lymphatic filariasis (LF); to summarize best practices, successes, gaps, and challenges from past experiences; and to highlight ways to improve the effectiveness and reach of these integrated NID health campaigns.

Key Messages

  • The experience of health campaign integration for neglected infectious diseases (NIDs) is inadequately documented in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC). This study addresses this gap by describing experiences of integrated health campaigns in the LAC Region related to soil-transmitted helminthiases (STH), trachoma and lymphatic filariasis (LF).
  • This landscape analysis describes findings of a literature view and interviews conducted with regional stakeholders at PAHO. It highlights the experiences of governments in Honduras, Colombia, and Guyana in implementing integrated campaigns for at least two NIDs with other public health interventions, such as vaccination. Integration started at a small scale, then expanded to other geographic areas and target age groups.
  • Guyana and Honduras attained high intervention coverage through integrated campaigns. Guyana achieved over 70% national coverage for target populations using mass drug administration (MDA) of diethylcarbamazine and albendazole (DA) for LF and STH in 2017 and 2018 and triple therapy ivermectin, diethylcarbamazine and albendazole (IDA) for LF and STH in 2019 and 2021. All three countries reported effective implementation of integrated health campaigns at the national and local levels through stakeholder engagement and training and sensitizing local leaders, communities, and line ministries.
  • Three main enablers for planning and implementing integrated NID health campaign emerged in this study: 1) high political commitment, inter-programmatic and high-level intersectoral collaboration among local and regional stakeholders; 2) strong country ownership demonstrated by domestic funding for national integrated plans to address NIDs; and 3) extensive community engagement and effective communication strategies.
  • Challenges to NIDs campaign integration persist given resource constraints, competing health priorities, insufficient management capacities, weak surveillance systems, and insufficient coordination among line ministries and relevant stakeholders.
  • National programs can learn from these experiences to facilitate more integrated approaches, as LAC and other regions explore ways to sustain quality prevention, control, and elimination strategies of NIDs.

More on this topic: