THE GLOBAL AGENDA
Onchocerciasis is an infection that has blinded over 300,000 people worldwide. Roundworms transmitted through the bite of a black fly spread throughout a host’s body, where they usually live for one or two years. When the roundworms die, their decaying bodies cause an immune response strong enough to destroy nearby host tissue, leading to itching, skin diseases, and, where the cornea becomes so scarred that it turns opaque, a condition known as river blindness.
In 1974, the Onchocerciasis Control Program launched in eleven West African countries. Supported by the World Health Organization, the World Bank, the United Nations Development Program, and the Food and Agriculture Organization, the program began by spraying against ...