Onchocerciasis, commonly known as "river blindness," is found mainly in sub-Saharan Africa. Microscopic worms deposited in the body by the bite of the "Black Fly" multiply by the millions. Some migrate to the eyes and cause severe inflammation and blindness. Onchocerciasis affects all ages, but blindness occurs in the 30's and 40's, the most productive years. A small tablet known as Mectizan® (ivermectin) given just once a year kills the microscopic worms and prevents blindness.
With a sub-grant from Helen Keller International’s ENVISION program, 1,140,296 people received Albendazole, and 433,074 school children received Mebendazole and/or Praziquantel in 2017 to treat other worm infestations. The elimination of worms in the body leads to better health, prevents malnutrition, and leads to greater energy.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends treating Onchocerciasis with Mectizan® at least once a year for 10 to 15 years.