What is onchocerciasis
The disease is caused by an infection from a parasitic worm transmitted by blackflies. These flies breed in fast-flowing streams and rivers. The adult worms that are transmitted produce larvae that move to the skin, eyes and other organs. This can lead to debilitating itching, disfiguring skin conditions and sight loss (including irreversible blindness). With these conditions, onchocerciasis has an enormous impact on the lives of those infected by reducing their ability to work and study in school.
People affected by onchocerciasis26 million people are infected with the onchocerciasis worm 184 million people are at risk of contracting onchocerciasis 99% of people infected live in sub-Saharan Africa
WHO NTD roadmap targets for onchocerciasis
The World Health Organization’s roadmap on NTDs set out a comprehensive plan for the control, elimination and eradication of various neglected tropical diseases by 2020, including onchocerciasis.
Onchocerciasis target: Elimination by 2020
- Elimination in Latin America by 2015
- Elimination in Yemen by 2015
- Elimination in selected African countries by 2020
Progress and scorecard from the 5th progress report
Countries that have eliminated onchocerciasis
4 countries have eliminated onchocerciasis since 2012:
- Colombia (2013)
- Ecuador (2014)
- Mexico (2015)
- Guatemala (2016)
Countries implementing preventive chemotherapy for onchocerciasis
People receiving preventive chemotherapy for onchocerciasis
Since the London Declaration was signed in 2012 and partners committed to defeating neglected tropical diseases, the number of people receiving preventive chemotherapy for onchocerciasis has increased considerably.
The coverage percentage is lower than in previous years, partly because the total number of treatments required has increased with the addition of formerly untreated hypo-endemic areas to the treatment area.
- Data is provided by the World Health Organization