As a response to the pandemic, the consortium which makes up UK aid’s flagship NTD programme, Ascend West and Central Africa, have adapted their work to use their extensive expertise to help mitigate the effects of this humanitarian crisis.
A new opinion piece from Professor David Molyneux, emeritus professor and former director of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine (LSTM) and chair of the technical consultative committee for Ascend West and Central Africa, detailed key areas where the programme had pertinent expertise to offer. And one of those key opportunities is the potential use of the dose pole.
The dose pole is a simple, two-metre, universal device used by community volunteers to measure the height of men, women and children during mass drug administration (MDA). The clear markings on the pole make it easy for volunteers to calculate and record the correct dose of treatment for each patient, depending on how tall they are.
Professor Molyneux states: “The thinking around how dose poles could be adapted for providing drugs, accepting that social distancing might need to be maintained into the foreseeable future, should be investigated.”
Ron Bannerman, director of Ascend West and Central Africa, explains how Sightsavers and partners found a way of using their expertise to help countries combat the pandemic while preserving the gains made in their fight against NTDs.Read the blog