Annual Report DIF


This year we ramped up program implementation for the Deworming Innovation Fund (DIF), an ambitious five-year project that seeks to accelerate progress towards eliminating intestinal worms and schistosomiasis in Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, and Zimbabwe. Once programs safely resumed, we supported treatment of 5.5 million people in Rwanda, 10.7 million people in Ethiopia, and 278 thousand people in Zimbabwe.

The Deworming Innovation Fund supported activities such as nationwide data collection for intestinal worms, schistosomiasis mapping in Rwanda and a pilot community-based survey in Ethiopia to inform design of the national precision mapping survey that will commence in 2021.

The year closed with exciting commitments from pharmaceutical companies Johnson & Johnson and Merck KGaA Darmstadt, Germany that will ensure expanded at-risk populations can be reached more cost-effectively. We look forward to building on the dedication of our partners across the globe to bring the audacious goals of the Deworming Innovation Fund to fruition in the coming years.

Map of Africa highlighting Ethiopia, Kenya, Zimbabwe, and Rwanda.

Deworming Innovation Fund Impact 2020






Leveraging Mobile Technology to end NTDs

It had been five days since Wondachew Addisu started going house to house with a team of surveyors collecting samples from families for intestinal worms and schistosomiasis in a small village in Ethiopia.

“The work requires you to be unselfish,” Wandachew said, “As long as you are serving the community, you can’t put your needs first. You are doing lifesaving work.”

There are 252 houses in the district being surveyed and to accurately estimate the burden of intestinal worms and schistosomiasis, the survey team needs to visit one third of the houses. The process is the same at each house. Wandachew approaches the family, introduces himself, and then asks for their consent to take part in the survey. Not all of the houses are accessible by road, so the team uses a combination of car, motorcycles, and walking to cover the entire area.

There are more than 700 districts like this one that need to be mapped. Wandachew is part of a small team gathering data on the local disease burden, which will enable the Ethiopian Federal Ministry of Health to develop the protocol for national remapping. As Ethiopia enters a new phase in its effort to eliminate schistosomiasis and intestinal worms, this information will be used to revise intervention strategies against these diseases.

“We agreed to do this work because we believe in it and therefore will get to where we have to using the car we are given, where possible, or by motorcycle, or even on foot — we are doing the work,” Wandachew explained.

More About NTDS

The Deworming Innovation Fund is primarily focused on ending soil-transmitted helminths and schistosomiasis.
Learn more about these diseases!

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