Health & Development International (HDI)

Sector in which the organization works:


Short description of the organization and its work to control and eliminate NTDs

Health & Development International (HDI) in the US and later also HDI-Norway have been working to eradicate guinea worm disease since the first of these was incorporated in 1990, as one of only two NGOs to be engaged in guinea worm eradication ever since then. Among many other initiatives, HDI initiated and still runs the globally available cash rewards system to help find the last few cases and ensure that none remain in previously endemic countries.

HDI added work on the Global Elimination of Lymphatic Filariasis (LF) beginning in 1997. In addition to early support for efforts in support of Ghana and Togo which became among the first countries to begin LF elimination, HDI organized the successful African LF Morbidity Project through which surgeons and teachers of surgery have been trained in the WHO-recommended surgical technique for LF-hydrocele (filaricele). More than 469 people have been trained in 12 countries and almost 4000 patients operated on during the training courses themselves, as of November 2012. That program was supported by the Bill and Malinda Gates Foundation and then NORAD (government. of Norway) through HDI through 2010, and has been supported by Johnson & Johnson through International Volunteers in Urology since then.

Togo, one of HDI's primary partner countries in LF Elimination, became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to have interrupted transmission of LF. All Togolese children born today face a future free of the indignities and socio-economic suffering that LF causes. During this process Togo (and HDI) began integrating Togo's efforts against NTDs before the term NTDs was even invented. And when USAID funding became available for the integrated control of NTDs, Togo asked HDI to join with it in that collaboration too. With USAID funding for Togo since 2009, through HDI, Togo now reaches more than 3.5 million people with three drugs in five combinations, nation-wide through its annual Mass Drug Administration efforts.

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