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And then forgot to tell us why : a look at the campaign against river blindness in West Africa
 
Author:Wigg, David; Collection Title:World Bank development essays ; no. 1
Country:Africa; Date Stored:2001/04/18
Document Date:1993/05/31Document Type:Publication
ISBN:ISBN 0-8213-2382-2Language:English
Major Sector:(Historic)Health, Nutrition & PopulationRegion:Africa
Report Number:11988Sub Sectors:Primary Health, Including Reproductive Health, Chi
SubTopics:Information Technology; Health Monitoring & Evaluation; General Technology; Sustainable Land and Crop Management; Airports and Air ServicesVolume No:1 of 1

Summary: The ancient scourge called onchocerciasis or river blindness as recently as 1987 threatened 85 million people worldwide with blindness, mostly in Africa. About 18 million were infected, 1 million had sight problems, and 350,000 were blind. This essay tells the story of perhaps one of the twentieth century's great medical and development triumphs: the campaign that is virtually eliminating river blindness. For generations, children have grown up resigned to a life of eventual blindness leading their blinded elders through the community on either end of a long wooden stick, waiting for their darkness to come. The negative impact on economic and social development as communities migrated to overpopulated, arid regions was enormous. This essay represents the results of what is possible when genuine, effective international collaboration takes place.

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