SEOF and TCC Celebrate Milestone Achievement in Fight Against Onchocerciasis
The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, a non-governmental, philanthropic organization focused on youth employment, families, education, healthcare and infrastructure development, joins The Carter Center in celebrating the interruption of onchocerciasis (River blindness) transmission in two states of the country. Nasarawa and Plateau states are no longer on the list where transmission of the disease is still prevalent. The push to eliminate river blindness continues in Abia, Anambra, Delta, Ebonyi, Edo, Enugu, and Imo.
River blindness is a parasitic infection than can cause intense itching, skin discolouration, rashes and serious eye disease that often lead to permanent blindness. The infected tiny black flies that breed in rapidly flowing river or stream spread the disease through its bites.
Over the years, there has been mass distribution of Ivermectin (Mectizan) in prevalent areas which is the medication for the prevention of river blindness transmission. As a result of this interruption, over two million residents of Plateau and Nasarawa states will no longer be taking Ivermectic drugs since transmission has been interrupted in their areas.
This is a remarkable achievement in the fight against river blindness and other tropical diseases being spearheaded by The Carter Center with other partners like Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, USAID, etc.
The Minister of Health Professor Isaac Adewole stated that “river blindness has burdened Nigerians since the days of our ancestors but with the support of The Carter Center and other important partners, we are lifting this burden. What we need do is compliment this good work with careful surveillance to be sure the infection does not reoccur, in that way we can put river blindness into the dustbin of history.” There is a greater hope that Nigeria will eliminate river blindness in no distant time.
About the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation
The Sir Emeka Offor Foundation is a philanthropic organization based in Oraifite, Anambra State, Nigeria. The Foundation seeks to alleviate the suffering of the less privileged through philanthropy, and focuses primarily on giving support and hope to those in need irrespective of tribe, creed, religion and nation. The Foundation has affected the lives of many Nigerians through its domestic programs and projects which include youth empowerment, widows cooperative, education, health service and infrastructure development. For more information, visit http://sireofforfoundation.org or like us at https://www.facebook.com/siremekaofforfoundation.
By Obi Ebuka Onochie
Photo Credit: Alex Aghomi