Ethiopia and its steps to mobilize resources to achieve 2020 elimination and control goals for neglected tropical diseases: Spider webs joined can tie a lion.
In June 2013, at the launch of its National Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) Master Plan, the Ethiopian government pledged to achieve WHO NTD elimination and control targets by 2020. With an estimated 80 million people living in areas where one or more NTDs are endemic, this goal presented an enormous challenge for the Federal Ministry of Health. However, as of September 2015, the Federal Ministry of Health has managed to mobilize support to implement mass drug administration in 84% of the trachoma endemic districts and 100% of the endemic districts for onchocerciasis, lymphatic filariasis, soil-transmitted helminthes and schistosomiasis. The national program still is facing large gaps in its podoconiosis and leishmaniasis programs, and it faces significant other challenges to stay on track for 2020 targets. However, this unprecedented scale-up in support was achieved through significant government investment in NTD interventions and creative coordination between donors and implementing partners, which may provide valuable lessons for other national NTD programs trying to achieve nationwide coverage.