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“Our goal must be a world in which good health is a pillar of individual well-being, national progress, and international stability and peace. This cannot be achieved without partnerships involving governments, international organizations, the business community, and civil society.”

— Kofi A. Annan, ex-Secretary-General of the United Nations

PAHEF at Work » Success Stories 

More than 120 million people in 30 developing nations are at risk of contracting onchocerciasis, commonly known as river blindness, a disease of poverty that can rob people of their sight -- and therefore their livelihoods.

We are happy to report that progress is being made in the region:

  • the number of people at risk has decreased from more than 600,000 to around 508,400 people
  • the number of endemic communities is down to 1,953 from some 2,700 in the late 1990s.

Although there have been improvements in the Americas, river blindness remains endemic in six countries: Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico and Venezuela.

Through the generosity of Merck & Co., Inc., PAHEF has partnered in the donation of more than $37 million worth of Mectizan tablets since 1989 enough for nearly eight million treatments. Currently, Mectizan is reaching more than 400,000 people each year in the Americas with the goal of eliminating transmission of the disease by 2007.


Noti-Oncorcercosis Report (pdf)