Publication: The Onchocerciasis (Riverblindness) Programs Visionary Partnerships
The Onchocerciasis Control Program (OCP) was created in 1974 with two primary objectives. The first is the elimination of onchocerciasis as a public health problem and as an obstacle to socioeconomic development throughout an eleven-country area. The second is to leave participating countries in a position to maintain this achievements by enhancing national capacity to maintain control of the disease. The principal tool has been vector control. By eliminating the intermediate host by killing the fly larvae, vector control effectively interrupts transmissions of the disease. In the late eighties, the program initiated the distribution of Mectizan as a complementary method of control. The OCP program has been hailed as one of the most successful partnerships in the history of development assistance. The results of the program include: 1) virtually halting transmission of onchocerciasis throughout the eleven-country program area; 2) preventing 600,000 cases of blindness by the conclusion of the program in 2002; 3) sparing 16 million children born since the program's inception from any risk of contracting onchocerciasis; and 4) freeing up estimated 25 million hectares of arable land for resettlement and cultivation.
“Benton, Bruce. 2001. The Onchocerciasis (Riverblindness) Programs Visionary Partnerships. Africa Region Findings & Good Practice Infobriefs; No. 174. © World Bank, Washington, DC. http://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/9826 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO.”