Projected benefits from integrating NTD programs in sub-Saharan Africa
The integration of preventive chemotherapy programs (PCPs) targeting multiple neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) with similar strategic approaches offers opportunities for enhanced cost-effectiveness. To estimate the potential cost savings and health outcomes of integrated programs, the data available for five NTDs (lymphatic filariasis, onchocerciasis, intestinal helminthiasis, schistosomiasis and trachoma) can be used to define eligible target populations, the probable overlap of at-risk populations, and the cost per person treated in stand-alone and integrated programs. If all targets for 2006 in sub-Saharan Africa are met, then savings of 2647% can be projected from such integration (a cost of US $5881 million versus $110 million for stand-alone PCPs). These first estimates can be refined as empirical data become available from integrated PCPs in the future.