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Continuous Support For Mass Treatment Could Lead To River Blindness Eradication

Los Angeles Times: Can river blindness enter the elite club of eradicated diseases?
Matshidiso Moeti, WHO’s regional director for Africa

“…Completely eliminating onchocerciasis [also referred to as river blindness] from all areas where it is known to exist would take the world to an extremely rare place: disease eradication. … The battle against river blindness has been waged with two key weapons. Insect control is one factor, but the most decisive intervention involves treating entire communities repeatedly with the anti-parasite medication ivermectin. … Repeating mass treatment over several years can eventually eliminate the disease from an endemic region. … By maintaining support for the battle against river blindness, we will continue to blaze a trail toward elimination for other neglected diseases to follow — to a point in the not too distant future when the club of the eradicated disease may have several new members” (8/11).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.