The International Eye Foundation’s programs to address onchocerciasis are discussed in the just-published “RIVERBLINDNESS IN AFRICA: Taming the Lion’s Stare” by Bruce Benton.

The late James Wolfensohn, who headed the World Bank, wrote the forward highlighting the role the Bank played in creating a coalition of stakeholders to eliminate onchocerciasis. This ancient scourge left people blind in the 30’s and 40’s, their most productive years.

The book is a comprehensive history of cooperation and trust that brought WHO, the World Bank, Merck and Company, bilateral agencies, funders, the NGO sector, governments, and communities together to create a global initiative. These efforts have had a tremendous impact on reducing the rates of blindness due to onchocerciasis.

IEF is proud to be a part of the global effort to eliminate onchocerciasis from the very beginning of the community-based mass treatment programs more than 20 years ago. IEF continues to provide treatment to over 1.2 million persons annually.

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