About Us

THE MMDP PROJECT

The Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention (MMDP) Project is a five-year, $35 million global project funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). The project helps countries provide high-quality treatment and care for people suffering from the debilitating effects of trachoma and lymphatic filariasis, complementing other major initiatives supporting disease elimination through mass drug administration. With activities in Ethiopia, Cameroon and Burkina Faso and in the global community, the MMDP Project is a key player in the global push to eliminate trachoma and lymphatic filariasis as public health problems by 2020.  

The MMDP Project is led by Helen Keller International in partnership with RTI International. The project spans from July 22, 2014, through July 21, 2019.

MMDP SERVICES

To treat trichiasis, the painful, blinding stage of trachoma, the MMDP Project is working to provide sight-preserving eyelid surgery. When individuals decline surgery, we support countries in their decision to offer counseling on proper techniques for eyelash epilation.

For lymphatic filariasis, the project seeks to surgically treat men with hydrocele, the disabling and stigmatizing condition in which the scrotum becomes severely swollen. The project also helps individuals with badly swollen limbs -- and the family members who care for them -- learn effective ways to manage lymphedema and prevent recurring bouts of inflammation. 

Practice on the HEAD START surgical simulator is a standard part of trichiasis surgery training under the MMDP Project. The mannequin, developed at Wake Forest University, allows instructors to assess trainees’ skills before certifying them to operate on live patients. Above, master trainer Amir Bedri, M.D., points out features of the mannequin’s removable eyelids to surgeons in Cameroon. (Photo: Carla Johnson)

A STRONGER GLOBAL MMDP COMMUNITY

The MMDP Project provides technical and programmatic assistance to national governments seeking to increase in-country capacity to provide high-quality surgery and disease management services for people suffering from trichiasis, hydrocele and lymphedema. We also support the global community’s needs related morbidity management and disability prevention capacity strengthening, monitoring and evaluation, and partner coordination. Specifically, the MMDP Project works to:

  • Strengthen MMDP data availability and quality for decision-making at the country level
  • Strengthen support for MMDP implementation scale-up and quality improvement at the country level
  • Strengthen capacity of MMDP systems within ministries of health
  • Provide global leadership through building upon the knowledge and evidence base for MMDP best practices and policy
Under a quality assurance protocol developed by the MMDP Project, monitoring & evaluation teams visit former trichiasis surgery patients to collect data on patient experiences and surgical results. Above, an Ethiopian woman who received trichiasis surgery three months earlier talks with a data collector. (Photo: Mary Houghton)

KEY ACTIVITIES

The MMDP Project relies on the latest scientific knowledge and disease prevalence data to inform program implementation. We seek to ensure that surgeons and other service providers adhere to rigorous, evidence-based quality standards, and that project activities reach the populations most in need. Toward these ends, the project engages in activities to:

  • Support strategic planning, situation analysis and data collection on disease burden
  • Train cadres of master trainers to carry out training of local surgeons and care providers
  • Plan and implement trichiasis surgery, hydrocele surgery, and lymphedema management campaigns
  • Procure equipment and consumables needed for high-quality surgeries
  • Develop and test new tools and resources needed by countries and others working globally on trachoma and lymphatic filariasis morbidity management and disability prevention
  • Establish national data collection mechanisms, and refine indicators and data collection tools