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Edridah Muheki — Regional Manager for Tanzania, Uganda and Sudan, Ascend Lot 1 /

What drew you to this role? 

I work in this role in order to support countries in their execution of NTD elimination activities and also to act as a link between the Ascend project and governmentsministries of health and other partners supporting NTD programs. 

Globally, there is an NTD elimination roadmap with set goals and timelines, but countries are at different levels of implementation and yet they all need to adhere to the timelines. By supporting countries to implement project activities, we will contribute to the consolidated elimination of NTDs as a global target.  

I am proud to be contributing to the improved health of marginalised communities.

Can you share an example of some of the bigger achievements you’ve had this past year?

Firstly, establishing morbidity management of disabling symptoms relating to lymphatic filariasis infection.

Secondly, the control of Visceral Leishmaniasis

These two aspects have not been tackled through NTD interventions in the African Region.   

Do you work in a team, country, role of field that is predominantly male? If so, how have you overcome any challenges relating to this?  

I work in a male/female balanced environment but I still feel gratified being a woman in this field. NTDs affect females more than they do males either directly or indirectly.  

As a woman, talking to communities of women enhances their participation in program implementation and this in turn increases child and male involvement. This makes it easier to reach project targets and also contributes to program sustainability.  

What challenge are you working to overcome through your role and work with Ascend and how? 

The main challenge is the sustainability of NTD elimination which is the gist of Ascend project. I am working on advocating and persuading governments and/or ministries of health to equitably support NTD interventions like all other health care deliveries.