River blindness eliminated in 2 states in Nigeria

23 March 2018

The Mectizan Donation Program is pleased to share the good news that treatment with Mectizan for river blindness has been stopped in Plateau and Nasarawa states in Nigeria. We congratulate the Federal Ministry of Health, The Carter Center, and the people of Plateau and Nasarawa for this remarkable achievement. An estimated 2 million people no longer need treatment as this large region in Nigeria has successfully interrupted transmission of the disease. This news bodes well for other national and subnational regions in Africa working toward river blindness elimination. 

In a press release issued by The Carter Center (https://www.cartercenter.org/news/pr/nigeria-032018.html ) Mectizan Donation Program Director, Dr. Yao Sodahlon, called the development “an unprecedented historical moment in onchocerciasis elimination. Tens of millions of Mectizan treatments have been donated over the last two decades to support elimination of this ancient disease in Plateau and Nasarawa states. This will be not only a first for Nigeria,” Sodahlon said, “it is the largest ‘stop MDA decision’ in the history of the struggle against onchocerciasis.” Mectizan is donated by Merck & Co., Inc., Kenilworth, NJ USA.