Data for decision making at regional and global level
Using data for trachoma eliminationThe global trachoma community largely knows:
- Where additional mapping for trachoma prevalence is required
- Where SAFE interventions are needed, where they are not, and at what scale and priority they must be undertaken
- The rough cost of implementing SAFE in different operating environments
- The funding gap that needs to be secured to achieve global trachoma elimination by 2020.
- Mobilise funding: Public and private donors use the data to understand the scale of the problem and where support and investment are most needed. Data are also needed to attract additional supporters for trachoma elimination. For example see this report from the UK government on its development programme in Nigeria.
- Strategic advocacy and resource mobilisation: National trachoma and neglected tropical disease (NTD) task forces engage with the International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC) to inform efforts to prioritise strategic resource mobilisation and advocacy for GET2020.
- Coordinating global antibiotic donations: the Trachoma Expert Committee of the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) meets twice a year. They use data from various sources – including prevalence and coverage surveys – to determine whether districts applying for donated antibiotics should receive them.
- Developing and sharing preferred practices: The Network of WHO Collaborating Centres for Trachoma seeks to build evidence for SAFE implementation and to address the knowledge gaps which hinder progress to trachoma elimination. ICTC disseminates preferred practices.
- Discussion of evidence and academic progress: Presenters at global, regional and national conferences and authors of peer reviewed publications – who seek to illustrate the progress made, the scale of need yet to be addressed and the latest evidence about SAFE.
- Open Access sharing: the Global Atlas of Trachoma publishes EU-level prevalence data provided by health ministries.
- Establishing partnerships: The GET2020 Alliance and ICTC are powerful platforms for collaboration. Uniting to combat NTDs produces an annual progress report and scorecard for NTDs including trachoma.
Regional and national level
- Strategic regional decisions: Regional groups like the East Africa Trachoma and NTD Cross Border Partnership, the Eastern Mediterranean Region Alliance for Trachoma Control and similar groups in francophone Africa and the Pacific inform programme planning and priorities, engagement and resource mobilisation efforts with local funders.
- Guide grant managers of the large-scale multi-country funded programmes: Quarterly and annual review meetings in-country inform progress and assist with realignment of programme implementation.
- Governments of endemic countries: Governments plan for TT surgeries; target MDA to endemic districts; establish improvements in access to water, sanitation and hygiene; upgrade national monitoring and evaluation systems. They also, when the time is right, use their best available data to prepare applications to WHO for the validation of elimination of trachoma as a public health problem.
High quality data – it’s a serious business, everyone’s business!Poor data affect our ability to make informed decisions. Rich data provide credibility to our work and confidence that we will know whether programme interventions are effective, decisions about priorities are sound, and available resources have been effectively allocated to address the most urgent and serious need.
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