Vision is failing for river-blindness control in Ghana

Lancet. 1999 Dec;354(9196):2143. doi: 10.1016/s0140-6736(05)77052-5.


PIP: The eventual termination of all Onchocerciasis Control Programme (OCP) activities in Africa in December 31, 2002 will significantly affect river blindness control in Ghana. Although Ghana is a politically and economically stable country, its topographical diversity may create difficulties in the post-OCP era and its management of onchocerciasis. The two versions of the disease, the savanna form and the forest form, are transmitted by different vector-parasite complexes with blindness frequently occurring in the savanna form. Unlike the savanna form, it was only recently that OCP manage the forest form of the disease through aerial spraying with insect larvicide and distribution of ivermectin to infected individuals. Kofi Ahmed, Director of Onchocerciasis Control, stated that complete control is impossible and that Ghana cannot afford to continue spraying larvicide after 2002. Other threats to onchocerciasis control in the absence of larvicide spraying include the increasing number of infective savanna flies in deforested areas in the south and the inadequacy of ivermectin treatment alone.

Publication types

  • News

MeSH terms

  • Filaricides / economics
  • Filaricides / therapeutic use*
  • Ghana / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Ivermectin / economics
  • Ivermectin / therapeutic use*
  • Onchocerciasis, Ocular / epidemiology
  • Onchocerciasis, Ocular / prevention & control*
  • Public Health


  • Filaricides
  • Ivermectin