A new and innovative NTD mapping tool (www.ntdmap.org) was developed by a large consortium of research and programme partners. Data has been integrated from a large range of data sources.The online tool  allows for visualization and manipulation of geographical data on a large numbers of variables. The target group are planners and implementers of NTD control programmes.

In an Innovation to Application article in PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases, Integrating Data and Resources on Neglected Tropical Diseases for Better Planning: The NTD Mapping Tool (NTDmap.org) by R. Flueckiger et al., the tool is described in detail. Integrated databases include the WHO Preventive chemotherapy databank, the African Program for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC), the Global Atlas of Helminth Infections, the Global Atlas of Trachoma, the International Coalition for Trachoma Control and the Global NTD Database. An important element of targeted NTD intervention is the delivery of mass drug administration (MDA) for treating the five major “preventive chemotherapy” NTDs, including lymphatic filariasis (LF), onchocerciasis, schistosomiasis, soil-transmitted helminths (STH), and trachoma. Datasets were linked based on shared unique identifiers on health district level through cloud-based servers to a Geographic Information System (GIS) server, pushing the information up on the website as GIS layers.

The system allows users to generate customized maps without the need for specific GIS software and skills. Data on different NTDs (and overlay distributions) can be viewed, and maps for printing and presentations can be generated. 

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Practical use of NTDmap.org, trachoma, and STH in Ethiopia. (Source: doi:10.1371/journal.pntd.0003400.g004)

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