River Blindness or onchocerciasis is caused by the prelarval (microfilaria) and adult stages of the filarial nematode Onchocerca volvulus. The disease is transmitted by the bite of certain species of female Simulium flies (black flies) that bite by day and are found near rapidly flowing rivers and streams. Onchocerciasis is endemic in more than 25 nations located in a broad band across the central part of Africa. Small endemic foci are also present in the Arabian Peninsula (Yemen) and in the Americas (Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, southern Mexico, and Venezuela)
The signs are everywhere, across the continent: Africa is finding African approaches to solving its health problems.
The World Health Organization (WHO) and a group of more than 25 partner organizations unveiled a new strategy to fight some of the most neglected tropical diseases that destroy the lives and health of poor people.
Waterborne infectious diseases, which bring death and illness to millions of people around the world, could largely be consigned to history by 2015 if global health partnerships integrate their programmes, according to Alan Fenwick writing in Science.
Onchocerciasis, river blindness or craw craw is an endemic disease in Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea.
Scientists studying the widespread symbiotic bacteria Wolbachia have long been interested in its ability to proliferate.
Veterinary scientists in Liverpool have found that some African cattle have natural immunity to a parasite, similar to that which causes river blindness in humans.
"The big three" infections AIDS, TB and malaria have caught the world's attention but other disabling and fatal infectious diseases in Africa are being ignored, say three eminent tropical disease researchers in the international health journal PLoS Medicine.
River blindness is a disease transmitted by biting flies, affecting areas such as West Africa, Nigeria, Congo, the Central African Republic and Central and South America, and causing significant health problems for at least 18 million people.
Millions of people are dying in the developing world because of poor access to cheap medicines and basic healthcare, the BMA says today (Wednesday, 6 July, 2005) ahead of the G8 summit.
More than a billion people are at risk for infection with filarial nematodes, parasites that cause elephantiasis, African river blindness, and other debilitating diseases in more than 150 million people worldwide.
Millions of the world's poorest people are suffering needlessly from diseases that are being neglected because of the emphasis given to the "big 3" killers, HIV/AIDS, TB and Malaria, says Professor David Molyneux of the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.
The author of a Viewpoint article published online by THE LANCET argues for a renewed public-health effort to tackle so-called ‘neglected diseases’ which continue to have serious impact in less-developed countries.