MMDP in Cameroon
With USAID funding since 2009, Cameroon has reached 100% geographic coverage in drug treatment for trachoma, and 94% coverage for lymphatic filariasis – a remarkable feat given the country’s size, wide-scale burden of disease, and co-endemicity with loa loa in lymphatic filariasis districts. With the MMDP Project, USAID is now adding critical support to Cameroon’s efforts to address trachomatous trichiasis, hydrocele and lymphedema, an augmentation in funding that will give Cameroon the full package of support needed to reach disease elimination.
Cameroon’s trichiasis cases are concentrated in the dry and desert-like North and Far North regions bordering Nigeria and Chad. The MMDP Project is supporting the government’s efforts to increase the number of trained surgeons and the availability of trichiasis management services in these areas.
Although lymphatic filariasis is known to be endemic in much of the country, there is very little data on the number and location of people with hydrocele and lymphedema. The MMDP Project’s first step, therefore, has been to help the government gather burden estimates and understand gaps in current treatment capacity so that programming to alleviate the suffering of lymphatic filariasis patients can begin.
The project in Cameroon offers a valuable opportunity for global learning as we focus on how to reach elimination in lower burden trichiasis districts, how to achieve program targets despite insecurity, and how best to scale up lymphatic filariasis morbidity services in a culturally and geographically diverse setting.