The pilot project has been taking place in districts of Nigeria and Ghana, in areas that have never been treated with ivermectin (the medication used to control the spread of the disease). The aim is to test a protocol for mapping the disease, recommended by the World Health Organization’s Onchocerciasis Technical Advisory Subgroup, and to develop technical expertise locally before rolling it out to other areas in 2019.
The collaborative project is being carried out in close coordination with WHO and WHO/ESPEN, the Task Force for Global Health, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and many other partners.
The gallery below shows photos from the pilot project in Nigeria.
With the results generated from the pilot in Ghana and Nigeria, the programme will focus on implementing the project in selected districts in Mozambique in 2019. This will help to establish best practices for data collection, data visualisation and decision-making, with a view to create a template for scaling up OEM in other countries. The project will also continue coordinating with partners focused on strengthening national laboratory capacity for diagnostic processing.
National onchocerciasis programmes and partners will then be encouraged to prepare for OEM by reviewing their own data and identifying districts that have not yet been treated or mapped.
The aim for OEM is for onchocerciasis to be eliminated, and for partners to collaborate to map onchocerciasis in areas of Africa where the disease is less prevalent.