With help from the Carter Center and the Pan American Health Organization, Ecuador has officially become the second country in the world to achieve elimination of onchocerciasis (river blindness).
To eliminate onchocerciasis in Ecuador, the country had to overcome a major obstacle — Simulium exiguum; the main vector in Ecuador is exceptional at transmitting the disease. Ecuador’s Ministry of Health had been distributing medication in the country since 1990 — halting distribution in 2010 after transmission of the disease was successfully interrupted.
Watch a video from the Carter Center to see how treatment reached some of the most remote communities in Ecuador:
Ecuador is the second country in the world to receive verification from the World Health Organization in eliminating onchocerciasis after Colombia in 2013. The next challenge being undertaken in the fight against onchocerciasis in the Americas is addressing the disease in the scattered and migratory Yanomani population who live in the border area between Venezuela and Brazil.
Read the Pan American Health Organization’s press release here.