Sierra Leone News

Journey toward Lymphatic Filariasis Elimination in Sierra Leone

December 11th, 2013

Trying to eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTD) like lymphatic filariasis (LF)–also known as elephantiasis or big foot–in a country is like trying to permanently rid your garden of invasive plants and weeds. It may seem like a never-ending war that takes not just a long-term commitment and plenty of perseverance and effort, but also constant

NTD Program Refresher Training Makes Sense: The Case of Sierra Leone

November 1st, 2013

For many professionals, education never ends–especially in the healthcare field. Each year, most allied health professionals have to take part in continuing education in order to maintain their certification or license. This helps them stay abreast of new information and advances in their field, while giving them a chance to reconnect and share experiences with

Building capacity: On-the-job training improves storage of NTD medicines in Sierra Leone

September 10th, 2013

By Guest Bloggers: Paula Nersesian and David Paprocki, John Snow, Inc. Procuring and efficiently delivering preventative medicine for neglected tropical diseases (NTD) to thousands of geographically dispersed communities is a challenging undertaking, at best. It takes teamwork and open communication among the many players involved in the country’s drug supply chain team. However in some

New Study Shows Unexpected Benefits of Integrated Mass Drug Administration in Sierra Leone

June 25th, 2013

A new study published in the June 2013 issue of the online journal PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, reports quicker-than-anticipated reductions in the number of lymphatic filariasis (LF) cases in Sierra Leone following just three rounds of mass drug administration (MDA) with ivermectin and albendazole. The study, titled “Impact of Three Rounds of Mass Drug Administration on

Behind the scenes at the FY2014 END in Africa work planning sessions

June 19th, 2013

Alexander Graham Bell once said, “Before anything else, preparation is the key to success.” While the famous telephone inventor was more familiar with communications than global health, he may as well have been speaking directly to a group of national NTD program managers and NTD stakeholders in the affected countries. Successful implementation of the many

Curing River Blindness with Just One Dose

June 5th, 2013

In June 2011, fourteen-year-old Mabinty Koroma was about to take the year-end exam in her middle school. One afternoon whilst in class, Mabinty noticed that she could barely see the writing on the blackboard. She went home that day thinking it was just temporary; but the following morning Mabinty was unable to read her notes

Using New Technologies to Fight Old Diseases

May 14th, 2013

The global health community has been quick to recognize the potential of new technologies to improve health care around the world.  One such technology that is widely used in such settings is the mobile telephone. Short message service (SMS) through mobile phones is considered a potentially suitable means of improving patient care because it is inexpensive

Targeting Hard to Reach Populations for NTD Control: The Sierra Leone Example

April 30th, 2013

There are many reasons why certain communities in a country may be hard to reach for public health programs: remote geographical locations, poor road infrastructure, mistrust or lack of interest in healthcare, to name a few. Such programs are faced with the task of evaluating the pros and cons of reaching–or not reaching—them all. While

Mass drug administration significantly reduces infection of Schistosoma mansoni and hookworm in school children in the national control program in Sierra Leone

December 6th, 2012

In 2009 for the first time, Sierra Leone’s National Neglected Tropical Diseases Control Program did a joint school-based mass drug administration (MDA) using praziquantel and mebendazole, targeting school-aged children in endemic districts. Six months later, it conducted a cross-sectional sentinel site survey to evaluate the impact of the treatment regimen. It found that school-going children