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Acta Trop. 2011 Sep;120 Suppl 1:S177-85. doi: 10.1016/j.actatropica.2011.02.017. Epub 2011 Mar 31.

Neglected tropical disease (NTD) control in health systems: the interface between programmes and general health services.

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Department of Public Health, Institute of Tropical Medicine, Antwerp, Belgium.


Disease control programmes are an intrinsic part of health systems. Neglected tropical disease (NTD) control is a clear case in point. While there is a growing consensus that NTD control and health services are linked, with important mutual impacts, little is known of what actually happens at the interface between the two entities. Here, we review the rationale, viewpoints and experiences of NTD control programmes regarding general health services, and vice versa, and compare their respective arguments. We discuss the interactions and interface between disease control and health systems, and present possible scenarios for health system strengthening by NTD- and other disease-specific programmes. Focusing on countries in sub-Saharan Africa, we suggest a number of principles that could pave the way for fruitful discussions and development of synergies.

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