Monday, April 03, 2017


Onchocerciasis is a cumulative disease: in a given bioclimatic area the severity of lesions are related to the mean intensity of infection of the human communities by Onchocerca volvulus itself dependent on the density of infective biting vector. Onchocerca volvulus is a filarial nematode that lives for up to 14 years in the human body.

Each adult female worm (thin but more than 50 cm in length) produces millions of microfilariae that migrate throughout the body and give rise to visual impairment (punctuate keratitis), rashes, intense pruritis and depigmentataion of the skin; lymphadenitis; “hanging groin” and elephantiasis of the genitals.
Although corneal inflammation (keratitis) accounts for most cases of blindness, the parasites can also induce damage to posterior sections of the eye, including the choroid, retina and optic nerve.

Onchocerciasis is a disabling and debilitating disease which affects more severely small rural communities. In Savannah African valleys, onchocerciasis blinding rates may affect up to 10% of the total population

An estimated 169,196,267 Africans were at risk for onchocerciasis as of 2013. A mass treatment program was initiated in West Africa in 1974, resulting in 1.5 million cured and 400,000 cases blindness prevented to 1998.
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