Burden of neglected tropical diseases and access to medicine and diagnostics in Ethiopia: a scoping review

Agumasie Semahegn, Tsegahun Manyazewal, Eyerusalem Getachew, Bethelhem Fekadu, Esubalew Assefa, Munir Kassa, Gail Davey, Michael Hopkins, Mesele Araya, Tassew Woldehanna, Charlotte Hanlon, Abebaw Fekadu

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

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Abstract

BACKGROUND: More than 1.7 billion people are affected by neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) worldwide. Forty percent of the NTD-affected people live in Africa with the poorest, most vulnerable, and hard to reach geographical areas. The NTDs cause significant social and economic burden and deepen marginalization and stigmatization. The World Health Organization's current roadmap for NTD aims to prevent, control, eliminate, or eradicate 20 tropical diseases. Ethiopia experiences a high burden of these diseases, but current access to diagnostics, medicine, and/or care has been little explored to inform the country's NTD strategic plan. The overall purpose of the scoping review was to map and characterize the burden of NTDs and challenges in access to diagnostics, medicine, and/or care in Ethiopia.

METHODS: A systematic search of evidence was conducted in PubMed, Cochrane Library, and Google Scholar from January 2000 until May 2022, without restrictions of language or study design. The Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Reviews and Meta-Analyses Extension for Scoping Review was followed for screening of studies. Key findings were extracted and narrated qualitatively.

RESULTS: The search resulted in 4532 articles, of which 105 met the inclusion criteria and were included in the scoping review under three themes: burden of NTDs, access to diagnostics, medicine and/or care, and key barriers. Although gains have been made in the prevention and control of NTDs in Ethiopia, the burden remains high, and progress in access to diagnostics, medicine/drugs, and/or care is very slow. Poverty, poor quality of life, and underfunding of NTD programs decelerate the process of NTD elimination program in the country.

CONCLUSIONS: The scoping review identified a considerable number of studies on the burden of NTDs in Ethiopia and strategies for diagnosis, treatment, and/or care; however, there is a paucity of evidence on the suitability and potential benefits of novel diagnostic technologies and medicines in the country. A regular review and analysis of such country-level evidence is important to inform the country NTDs roadmap and local implementation strategies.

Original languageEnglish
Article number140
Pages (from-to)140
JournalSystematic Reviews
Volume12
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 14 Aug 2023

Keywords

  • Humans
  • Ethiopia/epidemiology
  • Quality of Life
  • Tropical Medicine/methods
  • Global Health
  • Neglected Diseases/diagnosis
  • Health Services Accessibility

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