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Ann Trop Med Parasitol. 2002 Mar;96 Suppl 1:S93-104.

APOC's strategy of community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) and its potential for providing additional health services to the poorest populations. African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control.

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Academy of Medical Sciences and Technology, Khartoum, Sudan.


Since its inauguration in 1995, the African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) has made significant progress towards achieving its main objective: to establish sustainable community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) in onchocerciasis-endemic areas outside of the remit of the Onchocerciasis Control Programme in West Africa (OCP). In the year 2000, the programme, in partnership with governments, non-governmental organizations and the endemic communities themselves, succeeded in treating 20,298,138 individuals in 49,654 communities in 63 projects in 14 countries. Besides the distribution of ivermectin, the programme has strengthened primary healthcare (PHC) through capacity-building, mobilization of resources and empowerment of communities. The community-directed-treatment approach is a model that can be adopted in developing other community-based health programmes. The approach has also made it possible to bring to the poor some measure of intervention in some other healthcare programmes, such as those for malaria control, eye care, maternal and child health, nutrition and immunization. CDTI presents, at all stages of its implementation, a unique window of opportunity for promoting the functional integration of healthcare activities. For this to be done successfully and in a co-ordinated manner, adequate funding of CDTI within PHC is as important as an effective sensitization of the relevant policy-makers, healthworkers and communities on the value of integration (accompanied by appropriate training at all levels). Evaluation of the experiences in integration of health services, particularly at community level, is crucial to the success of the integration.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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