Onchocerciasis elimination in Côte d’Ivoire

The DOLF Project has just published an article on the spatial distribution of onchocerciasis (Oncho) in Côte d’Ivoire before and after the introduction of mass distribution of ivermectin. This work was based on extensive Ministry of Health mapping and surveillance data collected between 1975 and 2016. Data included village geolocations, village-level prevalence and intensity estimates pre/post mass ivermectin distribution, and climate and socio-demographic parameters. Geospatial modeling identified important factors that correlate with Oncho prevalence. Models were also used to predict Oncho prevalence for areas without survey data and to delineate areas at highest risk for persistence. Results from this study show that Côte d’Ivoire has made very significant progress in reducing infection Oncho prevalence and infection intensity over time. Our identification of areas at highest risk for persistence may help the Ministry of Health to target surveillance and intervention activities. Such focused efforts are likely to be very important in the late stages of the country’s onchocerciasis elimination programme. The paper was published with open access in PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases.

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