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
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
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.