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Combatting Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)


  • Helping 11 countries control and eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)
  • Building local capacity to enable sustainable, scalable NTD programmes
  • Millions reached through preventative and curative treatments and behaviour change communication
The Challenge

Ascend Lot 1 – The UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) is investing £100 million in 11 countries in East and Southern Africa and South Asia to advance the impact and sustainability of national programmes tackling NTDs. Implementation began in 2019 and will end in 2022. Activities include prevention and treatment, increasing the integration of aspects of NTD programmes within domestic health systems, strengthening the national health system, data for targeting and monitoring, and cross-sectoral coordination.

The Approach

Ascend Lot 1 is implemented by a consortium led by Crown Agents, including Abt Associates, Oriole Global Health, and the Royal Tropical Institute (KIT). Central to the approach is close collaboration with partner governments and other implementing partners to enhance national approaches to NTD control and elimination. The result will be more integrated, cost-effective, and sustainable programmes. Support includes:

  • Technical assistance to improve government capacity for NTD programming
  • Direct treatment interventions via government
  • Procurement of services from the non-government sector.
The Results

The impact of Covid-19 suspended programme delivery for much of 2020, but activities resumed in the final quarter and Ascend was able to quickly adapt to continue implementation safely and effectively.

Between March 2019 and December 2020, overall Ascend Lot 1’s program achievements include:

  • 36,147,874 mass drug administration treatments completed over 14 campaigns
  • 42 implementing units mapped
  • 122,683 people trained
  • More than 4,700 NTD cases treated (1,333 for trachoma, 1,766 for lymphatic filariasis, and 1,525 for visceral leishmaniasis)
  • 35 NTD-related policies supported
  • Behaviour change communication to 31,576,574 people.

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