- Onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness, is the world’s second-leading infectious cause of blindness. In Africa, 37 million people are infected with onchocerciasis, and 90 million worldwide are at risk of infection.
- A drug, Mectizan® (ivermectin), was developed by Merck & Co., Inc. to treat the disease, but sustainable delivery systems needed to be developed to help affected communities.
What HKI Is Doing
- HKI and our partners developed a delivery system called Community-Directed Treatment with Ivermectin (CDTI) that places the power to control this disease in the hands of community members themselves.
- Partnerships are created between communities and the health care systems so the intervention will continue after initial technical assistance and training are provided.
- Community-Directed Distributors are trained to administer and track the annual doses of the drug within their own communities.
- CDTI systems now cover more than 60 million people in Africa.