Eliminating River Blindness
Highlights from TDR’S - Making a Difference
30 Years of Research and Capacity Building in Tropical Diseases
The global effort to eliminate onchocerciasis (river blindness) is driven by close collaboration between research and public health agencies. Researchers seek answers to real-life problems faced by health workers in the field. Health strategies are refined by research findings. Such synergy is a major reason behind achievements attained so far in reaching over 55 million Africans with treatment – and elimination of onchocerciasis as a public health problem.
Since its foundation, the Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) has been a driving force behind this special research/control partnership, initially in collaborations with the Onchocerciasis Control Programme (OCP) in West Africa and now with the African Progamme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC).
Evidence from TDR-sponsored research has guided control strategies — from choice of drugs (ivermectin) to rapid epidemiological assessment (RAPLOA, REMO), and community-directed treatment. TDR also has supported the training of a critical corps of African researchers, now leaders in their field. Featured here are highlights of this history from TDR’s recent publication Making a Difference, 30 Years of Research and Capacity Building in Tropical Diseases.