Mass Drug Administration Works, But Programs Must Address Root Causes Of NTDs

In the New York Times’ “Opinionator” blog, Jason Silverstein, a PhD candidate in anthropology at Harvard University, writes about mass drug administration (MDA), a prevention strategy that “has all but eliminated river blindness in the Americas, a disease that had put half a million people at risk of going blind,” noting, “Researchers consider it a key strategy for eliminating other neglected tropical diseases [NTDs].” He discusses MDA’s success against lymphatic filariasis, how programs work, which drugs they choose, their expense, and the importance of community health workers and surveillance. “Despite the success stories, mass drug administration is not enough. If we want to eradicate the world’s neglected diseases, we’ll need to change the environment that allows them to thrive,” such as poor water and sanitation, he concludes (11/6).