Mobilizing Domestic Resources for Neglected Tropical Diseases: Highlights from Colombia, Guatemala, and the Philippines
Worldwide, significant progress has been achieved in addressing neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). NTDs are considered one of the best buys in public health due to the proven, low cost, and effective interventions available. However, governments face multiple challenges meeting the health needs of their populations, often managing limited domestic resources to address many competing priorities. To date, health services and interventions for NTDs have been left out of many national and subnational policy, planning, governance, and finance processes.
As they approach their NTD goals, governments must consider how best to sustain these gains and mobilize to efficiently utilize financing from domestic sources to ensure adequate coverage of NTD services. According to the WHO NTD Road Map 2030 (World Health Organization, 2021a) and the WHO NTD Sustainability Framework (WHO, 2021b), NTDs disproportionately affect the most disadvantaged and hard to reach populations and thus are integral to the achievement of universal health coverage (UHC). NTD interventions must be part of national systems and government-led efforts to optimize available health resources to address priority health needs as well as meet commitments toward achieving NTD goals; thus, domestic financing is critical to ensuring the sustainability of NTD services.
To identify lessons learned from countries that have achieved key elimination milestones and mobilized domestic resources in their NTD response, we conducted case studies in Colombia, Guatemala, and the Philippines, looking at focus NTDs. This synthesis document highlights common enabling factors in these three countries that contributed to resource allocation for NTDs at national and subnational levels. These lessons may be useful to NTD stakeholders in other countries who face similar challenges and opportunities.