[News] Eliminating onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis: Reaching the last mile

A report " Eliminating onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis: Reaching the last mile " on onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis (LF) eradication activities has been published.

This report was commissioned by The END Fund to Dalberg to help eradicate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in the key countries of The Reaching the Last Mile Fund (RLMF).

The purpose of this report is to (i) adopt a comprehensive approach to estimate the main economic benefits of eliminating these two diseases, and (ii) show the main benefits of eliminating these diseases. (iii) Mobilize resources to achieve eradication in priority countries.

It is also related to the fact that the control of river blindness was achieved for the first time in Africa in Niger the other day.

Click here for the report. (PDF file will open)


Eradication of river blindness and lymphatic filariasis produces great economic benefits and is a catalyst for economic growth. In Niger, for example, the control of these diseases has had an estimated $ 2.8 billion in economic benefits over the last 45 years. These benefits come at three main levels.

(I) Patients will be able to lead a productive life and reduce their medical expenses.

(Ii) Family members of infected persons (eg, women caring for the blind) can be relieved of the burden of long-term care and have access to education and work.

(Iii) Rural communities settle again on productive land around rivers, contributing to the prosperity of the country as a whole.

On the other hand, failure to eliminate disease transmission poses a risk of impeding economic development, especially for the most vulnerable. Also, because the vector can carry these diseases over long distances, measures that are not eradicated can pose a significant risk of re-epidemic not only in the country concerned but also in neighboring countries. In addition, river blindness and lymphatic filariasis are most affected by people at the bottom of the economic pyramid, so if eradication cannot be achieved, it will exacerbate existing inequality and drive more communities into poverty. That could be the case. Countries that do not prioritize the eradication of the NTD and allow it to revive may lose the economic benefits it has built up and face complex cost spending from ongoing disease management. Therefore, RLMF maintains and expands support for governments, donors, the private sector and NGOs to eradicate river blindness and lymphatic filariasis in Chad, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sudan, Ethiopia and Yemen. I am requesting that you do.