What is it?

Mapping provides the data needed to get a quick overview of the endemicity of a disease. The data in return can be showed in disease atlases. 

Why is it relevant to NTDs?

Mapping provides the data needed to get a quick overview of the endemicity of various NTDs in a country and their geographical overlap and thus potential for joint interventions. It also guides the national program’s decision making on program implementation, resource allocation and need for particular interventions. When services are also mapped, it provides essential data for health staff, social and other services to know where certain facilities are available. Moreover, it allows identification of gaps in services. Maps can help greatly in identifying opportunities for cross-NTD interventions.

For which NTDs is this relevant?

Mapping disease distribution is essential for all NTD programs.

What are the opportunities for use across NTDs?

The NTD Mapping Tool is an interactive mapping tool for planning and implementation of NTD interventions. It can visualize the geographical distribution and treatment status for many NTDs as well as data on access to improved sanitation and improved water sources. Although it does not contain any disability data as yet, this tool allows the user to selectively view multiple variables at once, identifying co-endemicity and intervention gaps, and thereby stimulating the progress for integrated programming in-country.

The AFRO Mapping project, a joint effort of WHO's African Regional Office and NTD Support Center, is nearing completion of Phase I: the district-wide assessments for preventative chemotherapy against NTDs (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, soil-transmitted helminthiasis, schistosomiasis and trachoma). Building on countries' earlier mapping efforts, 85% of districts in the AFRO region now are fully mapped for these diseases.  

The Global Atlas of Helminth Infections (GAHI) shows the geographical distribution of NTDs transmitted by worms, including STH, schistosomiasis and lymphatic filariasis. Four different maps are presented by worm species, country and regions, including  survey data maps, treatment coverage maps, water supply and sanitation maps, and predictive risk maps. It does not contain any disability data as yet. Publications, training materials, GPS guidelines and manuals can be found at the website.  

The Global Trachoma Mapping Project, launched in December 2012 and successfully completeled in January 2016, has shown that 100 million people are at risk of blindness from trachoma. This largest infectious disease survey ever undertaken, saw surveyors collect and transmit data from 2.6 million people in 29 countries using Android smartphones.

The Global Atlas of Trachoma is an open-access resource on the geographical distribution of trachoma. It aims to combine published and unpublished data at district level and provide up-to-date country maps of trachoma distribution. Maps show the most recent district-level prevalence estimates of active trachoma and trichiasis (visual impairment and blindness), based on population-based prevalence surveys (PBPSs). Where PBPS data are not available, trachoma rapid assessment (TRA) or Ministry of Health data may be used to indicate areas where trachoma and trichiasis has been found to be present or absent, or is suspected to be present or absent. This provides information if more surgery services for people with trichiasis (visual impairment and blindness) is needed or not.

The African Programme Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) strategy was one of the first attempts to develop evidence-based maps of a NTD. It provides static, downloadable country level maps of onchocerciasis and loa loa (co)-endemicity, identifies areas requiring community-directed treatment with ivermectin, and registers severe adverse events. It does not contain any disability data as yet.