Onchocerciasis

WHO updates crucial guidelines for river blindness

22 January 2016 | Geneva –– WHO has published revised guidelines for onchocerciasis as many countries approach the end of the treatment phase.

The new document updates content of guidelines that were written in 2001.

A lot has happened since and WHO now targets the elimination of the disease in Latin America and in Yemen by 2020.

Onchocerciasis: Mexico achieves elimination after decades of efforts

© P. DiCampo / The Carter Center

14 October 2015 | Geneva –– Mexico is the 3rd country to become free of onchocerciasis after a sustained national elimination programme spanning decades.

The announcement came days before the 2015 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was awarded to two researchers for their discovery of ivermectin – the mainstay of treatment for onchocerciasis (also known as river blindness).

Ecuador triumphs over river blindness

Ecuador declared free of onchocerciasis ©Wim de Jong

01 October 2014 | Geneva –– After Colombia in 2013, Ecuador became the second country to be declared free of onchocerciasis (also known as river blindness).

Elimination in both countries follow sustained large-scale treatment of at-risk populations with ivermectin, which often reached thousands of people in remote communities.