CBM reached 54 million people with NTD services in 2023

CBM provided 88.7 million doses of medicines to combat five NTDs.

Imagine reaching the entire population of Kenya with NTD medicines in one year! This is the reality for the CBM NTD programme in 2023. We reached 54 million people affected by NTDs in 369 districts across six countries (Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Sudan).

In collaboration with Ministries of Health, donors, and other partners, we provided 88.7 million doses of medicines to people affected by five NTDs, namely:

  • Onchocerciasis (River Blindness): A parasitic disease spread by blackflies that causes severe itching and can lead to irreversible blindness.
  • Lymphatic Filariasis (Elephantiasis): A mosquito-borne disease that results in painful and disfiguring swelling, usually in the legs, due to lymphatic system damage.
  • Trachoma: A bacterial eye infection that is the leading infectious cause of preventable blindness.
  • Schistosomiasis (Bilharzia): A disease caused by parasites in freshwater that can damage internal organs and impair growth and development in children.
  • Soil-Transmitted Helminths (Intestinal Worms): Parasitic worm infections that cause
    malnutrition, anaemia, and impaired growth and development in children.

A significant achievement in DRC

In collaboration with the Ministry of Health, The END Fund, and other partners, we reached an outstanding milestone by providing NTD medicines to 31.6 M people in the Democratic Republic of Congo. This remarkable achievement represents almost 60%
of all the people we reached in 2023

Nyalada, an 11-year-old girl from South Sudan, received TT surgery in a camp in Leer County

Trachoma Surgeries: Changing Lives

A significant achievement was the 10,861 trachoma surgeries supported in four countries (the Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, Nigeria, and South Sudan). Trachoma, a bacterial eye infection, could lead to irreversible blindness through repeated infections if left untreated. A simple upper-lid surgery can prevent blindness by correcting the position of the eyelids.

Systems strengthening through training

Consider a stadium like the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium in Madrid, Spain with a capacity of 81,000 seats, full of people being empowered on how to combat NTDs - that is the scale of our training efforts.

In 2023, we trained 80,492 people in diagnosing, treating, and preventing NTDs, strengthening local health systems and promoting country ownership.

Local stories, global impact

Every number has a face, and every statistic tells a story. In Nigeria, Germany Akpoebi, a 49-year-old father of four, participated in a free hydrocele surgery programme facilitated by CBM. Germany had lived with hydrocele for 15 years, unable to afford the surgery he needed. His story is one among many that highlight our immense efforts to address hydrocele in 2023. These increased efforts led to a significant rise in the number of hydrocele surgeries performed, from just 7 in 2021 in South Sudan to 252 in 2023 across Nigeria and South Sudan.

Hydrocele, often affecting adult males, is a condition, resulting from lymphatic filariasis, where fluid accumulates in the scrotum. This can cause significant swelling, discomfort, and pain, making it difficult for affected community members to carry out daily activities. For many like Germany Akpoebi, the condition can lead to physical and emotional distress, impacting their ability to work and support their families. As part of CBM’s support for lymphatic filariasis elimination in Bayelsa State, fifty affected persons recently participated in the free hydrocele surgeries provided at the Cottage Hospital, Otuasega in Ogbia Local Government Area of Bayelsa State, Nigeria

The pain was just too much. When it starts, nothing else matters to me. There are times that I don’t sleep for days because of the pain.
Germany Akpoebi

Germany Akpoebi received hydrocele surgery at the community primary healthcare centre in Bayelsa state, Nigeria

Despite being a health worker, Germany could not afford the cost of the surgery and tried self-medication, which often made things worse. Learning about the free surgery program, Germany overcame his fears with the help of a colleague.

“Once I got to the hospital and saw a lot of people who also came for the surgery, I did not want to do it anymore. I was afraid I might not make it alive. It was my colleague, Mary, who counselled me into accepting to do it at last," he said.

Today, Germany is glad he accepted the surgical services supported by CBM.

“I no longer have to deal with the pain and the shame. People no longer murmur behind me when I pass, and I’m freely doing my work now”

We extend our heartfelt appreciation to our generous donors: The END Fund,  Sightsavers, Accelerate donor consortium (funding managed by Sightsavers), ARISE funding consortium (funding managed by the END Fund), The Task Force for Global Health, Waldesian Church, and Fondation Assistance Internationale. Your support is crucial in achieving the WHO 2030 NTD targets for a future free from neglected tropical diseases.