Integrating an NTD with one of “the big three”: Combined malaria and trachoma survey in Amhara Region of Ethiopia.
The “big three” killer diseases are malaria, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis; control programs for these diseases are usually well developed and financed. The neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are a group of ancient afflictions that are frequently sidelined by planners and are under-resourced. Opportunities of integrating the big three with NTDs have been talked about but not widely acted upon. There is potential synergy for an integrated trachoma and malaria control program since control of both diseases is community-based. The first step in accessing these synergies has been an integrated malaria prevalence and indicator and trachoma prevalence and risk factor survey. This has been achieved at the incremental cost of one additional staff member per field team. The results give unprecedented precision for the calculation of intervention targets for the integrated program and demonstrate that it is possible to integrate NTDs with the “big three.”