African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC)

APOC statement on the 2015 annual letter of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation

WHO/APOC

Mr Bill Gates with his friend as well as his wife has been betting on a number of issues and picking ambitious goals that impact the world we live since forty years ago. We see most of them happening. We in APOC received the 2015 Annual letter of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation with great excitement and appreciation particularly their new bet "We'll also see the last of diseases like elephantiasis, river blindness, and blinding trachoma, which disable tens of millions of people in poor countries".

The publication of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s annual letter, further promotes the importance of 2015 as a year for change, and a turning point in the broader community embracing this opportunity to have a major impact.

Strategic Options and Alternative Treatment Strategies for Accelerating Onchocerciasis Elimination in Africa

Elimination by 2025 requires that the criteria for stopping treatment are met latest in 2022 to allow for the confirmation of elimination three years later [2]. To achieve elimination of onchocerciasis in at least 80% of onchocerciasis endemic African countries by 2025, the reduction in transmission has to be accelerated in areas for which currently available data suggest that the criteria for stopping CDTI will not be reached by 2022.
Acceleration of the reduction in transmission can be achieved either by improving the implementation of annual CDTI, notably increasing CDTI treatment coverage, or by using alternative treatment strategies (ATS) where CDTI cannot be implemented effectively (in particular in areas co-endemic for loiasis), or CDTI effectiveness is considered sub-optimal.

Upcoming EVENTS

39th Session of the Technical Consultative Committee (TCC)

08-12 September, 2014 / Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

APOC Review and Planning meeting

10 - 14 November 2014 / Ouagadougou, Burkina Faso

21th Session of the Joint Action Forum

December 2015