Elimination of Onchocerciasis in Africa

Topics: Millennium Development Goals, Africa, Blindness Pages: 1 (285 words) Published: June 7, 2013
Onchocerciasis is a filarial infection that leads to blindness and debilitating skin lesions. Onchocerciasis is found associated with the river system of tropical African regions. According to WHO this diseases occurs in 37 countries affecting 17.7 million people, out of which 500,000 were visually impaired and 270,000 were blind. Africa is the most affected country (95% ) from this disease in terms of the allocation and the severity of its clinical manifestation. Moreover, this disease also pose socio-economic burden on the authorities due lack of labour. This research paper will discuss how different projects were able to eliminate Onchocerciasis from Africa with the explanation of the success of two major programs - “Onchocerciasis Control Programme of West Africa (OCP/WA)” that was conducted from 1975-2002 that focused on 11 major countries and “The African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (ACOP)”. These programs helped to achieve the Millennium Development Goals along with supporting foremost health care for the people of Africa. ACOP mainly aimed at providing drug called “Ivermectic” to local communities that helped to reduce the risk of Onchocerciasis. These programs were able to able to control the population of the organism causing Onchocerciasis. Even the new born babies were born without the likelihood of being infected by this disease. These two programs were able to control the spread of Onchocerciasis in African region. In addition, this research paper will also talk about the cost effectiveness of these projects over the 28 years of their duration. It is estimated that US$ 3729 million was the benefit from these programs under the net present value, with the overhead benefit of elimination of this dreadful disease, supporting the success and effectiveness of these programs.
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