April highlights: updates from around the world

April 2018
NTD coordinators in Nigeria receive the keys to their new motorbikes from the Director of Public Health.
NTD coordinators in Nigeria receive the keys to their motorbikes from the local director of public health.


NTD group receives new motorbikes

Sightsavers has donated a fleet of motorbikes to workers who are tackling neglected tropical diseases in Benue state in central Nigeria. Many villages in the area are remote and inaccessible by car, meaning the only way to reach them is by bike. The local NTD coordinators say the bikes will enable them to travel around the community more easily, helping them to monitor patients carefully and collect valuable data. More from Nigeria

Asah from Cameroon.
Asah from Cameroon, who was given new antibiotics as part of a pilot study into river blindness.


Pilot study tests new medication for river blindness

Sightsavers is working with Cameroon’s ministry of health to trial an antibiotic called doxycycline to treat river blindness in areas where the disease is particularly rife. One patient who took part in the trial is 67-year-old Asah, who has had river blindness for several years, leaving her unable to work on her farm. As part of the study, she was screened and told to take doxycycline for 35 days, which has helped to ease her symptoms.

“I can now see clearly after taking this medication,” she told us. “When someone is beside me, I can now identify them, and the fatigue I used to feel has gone.” She is now encouraging others in the community to take the medication. The study is being carried out with the help of the Research Foundation of Tropical Diseases and the Environment. More from Cameroon


Eye camp provides treatment for hundreds of patients

A week-long eye camp took place in the northern Nacala Porto and Velha districts at the start of April, to check people’s eyes and refer them for treatment if needed. The team worked hard to reach the target of providing 100 operations to restore the sight of people with conditions such as cataracts. Other patients were given glasses to correct refractive error, or eye drops to protect their eyes.

The camp was part of Sightsavers’ CATCH programme, which aims to ensure that patients with a range of eye conditions are able to get the treatment they need. More from Mozambique

A group of ophthalmologists stand in the sunshine.
Ophthalmologists from DESSO following their annual meeting.


Ophthalmology group discusses research and training

The annual meeting of Diplôme d’Etudes Supérieures Spécialisées en Ophtalmologie (DESSO), a group of ophthalmic professionals, took place on 12-13 April at the National Hospital in Donka. During the meeting, members drew up several recommendations to help promote ophthalmology research and training in Guinea, including recruiting more ophthalmic researchers and lecturers, and supporting the university to increase its training. More from Guinea

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Dr Amadou wearing scrubs and a face mask.
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June 2020

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