The START team conducted a literature review of evidence in three thematic areas concerning gender considerations in NTDs: impact of NTDs on women and girls, delivery of NTD programs by women and impact of women in the workplace, and reach of the MDA platform and access by women and girls.
Building on a previous review of literature that focused on sex and gender and NTD research, the objective of this project was to provide a summary of evidence and framing that reviewed the current state of NTD research with respect to understanding and addressing gender considerations in NTDs. The review focused on three thematic areas: (1) the impact of NTDs on women and girls, (2) the delivery of NTD programs by women and the impact of women in the workforce, and (3) the reach of the MDA platform and access by women and girls.
The START team found that while the distribution of NTDs among sexes varies across settings there was evidence supporting the differential impact of NTDs on women and girls. A small body of evidence coming primarily from African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) cohorts found that programs including women community drug deliverers perform as well or better than male only programs. Despite their potential effectiveness, women community drug deliverers are underrepresented in MDA programs. Finally, while MDA coverage may appear to be equal between the sexes at the country level, MDA coverage may not be equal when examining sub-national levels.
The START RAs presented the results of the review at the Women and Girls in Focus meeting in London, UK, on July 27 and 28, 2016 to provide a contextual basis for discussion among NTD and gender experts. Following the meeting, the START team, with guidance from the conference organizing committee, drafted a summary report of the meeting outlining the evidence, discussion, recommendations, and next steps. Key recommendations included ensuring sex- and age-disaggregated data are collected and maintained and actively engaging female recipients of MDA, caregivers, and community drug distributors in program design, delivery, and monitoring and evaluation to help promote gender equity.
Upon the request of the Department of Global Health (DGH) following the close of the project, the START team also created a poster for the DGH 10th Anniversary Celebration Reception held on February 8, 2017.
 Vouking MZ, Tamo VC, Tadenfok CN. Contribution and performance of female Community-Directed Distributors in the treatment of onchocerciasis with Ivermectin in Sub-Saharan Africa: a systematic review. Pan Afr Med J. 2015;20:188.