Infectious Diseases: Prevention and Control

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The first elimination of onchocerciasis in Africa: Challenges and lessons from the Sudan experience

T he first confirmed elimination of Onchocerciasis in Africa has been reported in Abu Hamed focus along River Nile, Northern Sudan in 2015. Transmission of the disease has been interrupted in the Galabat focus on the Ethiopian boarder in Eastern Sudan in 2017. These studies provided evidence that continued and intensified ivermectin treatment alone could interrupt the disease transmission in as little as 15 rounds of documented treatment. However, they also indicated the unique nature and challenges of each disease focus even within the same country. The diverse challenges of onchocerciasis elimination campaigns in Sudan will be described including major environmental changes e.g. inception of hydropower dams and the first example of cross-boarder coordinated strategy in Africa. The latter experience would be vital for many foci across Africa and Sudan’s remaining disease foci, KhorYabos and Radom, which are believed to be shared with Ethiopia, South Sudan & DRC.

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