Adapting Tools and Considering Inclusion to Eliminate NTDs: Hirut’s Story

07 Sep 2022

Adapting Tools and Considering Inclusion to Eliminate NTDs: Hirut’s Story

Habtamu Bedasa, a Zonal NTDs Technical Advisor with FHF, uses the Supervisors Coverage Tool (SCT) to assess the level of MDA coverage in a village in Ethiopia.

Attention to diversity and inclusion is critical to ensuring services and efforts to control and eliminate neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) are accessible, equitable, and reach those most in need. NTDs disproportionately impact those living in poverty and those that are more likely to be marginalized or excluded—often based on conditions of gender, age, ethnicity, religion, geographic location, or for Hirut, disability.

Hirut lives in a rural village in the Oromia region of Ethiopia. She is a married mother of eight children, and she is illiterate and lives with a hearing disability. Despite annual mass drug administration (MDA) for trachoma in her village—a critical preventive health measure—Hirut’s hearing disability has prevented her from learning about MDA and its benefits, especially during the regular pre-MDA mobilization efforts in town. Because of this, Hirut has never participated in the annual village-wide service in the Abaya district. This particular district is highly endemic for the disease, which makes adherence to MDA even more critical for the health of Hirut as well as her family.

Read Hirut's Story