Carter Center Congratulates Ethiopia on Interrupting Transmission of River Blindness in Three Former Highly-endemic Districts

ATLANTA … The Carter Center, together with the Ethiopia Onchocerciasis Elimination Expert Advisory Committee (EOEEAC), is pleased to further amplify Ethiopia’s Ministry of Health press release, which went out earlier this week. For two decades, Ethiopia has been a leader in river blindness elimination and we congratulate them on interrupting transmission of river blindness in three districts in the Oromia region, the country’s most recent stop treatment decision.

Oromia region once reported some of the Ethiopia’s highest levels of river blindness and, historically, is the country’s largest endemic area with the most people at risk.  This announcement is not only significant for the world’s third most onchocerciasis-endemic country, but the global elimination campaign. 

In accordance with World Health Organization guidelines, Ethiopia will conduct at least three years of post-treatment surveillance starting in 2022, to assure that transmission of the infection does not resume.  If this is achieved, these Oromia districts will be on track to declare elimination of transmission. This is the country’s second major achievement against the neglected disease, moving the country another step closer to nationwide elimination.

Thrilled to be able to able to share positive news in this holiday season. Wishing you and yours health and happiness. Congratulations, Ethiopia!

The Carter Center, Atlanta: Emily Staub,

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