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Ghana frees 12 districts of Onchocerciasis

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The Ghana Onchocerciasis Expert Committee (GOEC) has recommended that follow up surveys be undertaken in 12 districts in the Oti-Daka river basin, to confirm the possibility of stopping the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) with Ivermectin.

The decision by the GOEC was based on an earlier data collected from 2017 by the Ghana Health Service’s Neglected Tropical Disease Programme (NTDP), which had shown that transmission of onchocerciasis (river blindness) might have been broken in these districts.

The districts, it said, was home to about 1.5 million people, and runs along the country’s eastern corridor, bordering the western side of Togo.

A Communique issued by the GOEC at the end of its third meeting held in March 2018, however indicated that the decision to consider stopping MDA, which has been ongoing in the area since 1998, would be coordinated with activities of their Togolese partners.

It said the success represented a major leap towards the national and international goals of eliminating onchocerciasis.

The Committee, therefore, expressed their delight at the progress made by the NTDP towards eliminating onchocerciasis, and further extended their gratitude to supporting partners like United State Agency for International Development’s (USAID) END in Africa project which aims at eliminating NTD, Sightsavers, WHO and the Mectizan Donation Programme

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Source GNA

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