Launching the Global Onchocerciasis Network for Elimination (GONE)

Onchocerciasis, or river blindness, is one of the most common infectious causes of blindness in the world. More than 240 million people are currently affected, mostly communities living near rivers where the blackflies live and breed.

Achieving the 2030 Road Map goal of eliminating transmission of onchocerciasis will require implementation of a number of critical actions. These include the need for a well-coordinated global partnership to connect stakeholders and existing partnerships at all levels, in order to improve coordination and collaborations, to accelerate technical progress, to implement a harmonized research agenda and to ensure improved service delivery.

To address challenges, opportunities and move forward with critical actions, the WHO, member states and partners have established the new Global Onchocerciasis Network for Elimination (GONE) to strengthen partnerships and communication and to assist member states with achieving the 2030 Road map’s onchocerciasis elimination goals.

With its focus on the NTD Road Map, this new network will be a country-driven initiative, with the support of WHO, and will emphasize pragmatic and flexible solutions, to ensure that the needs of individual country programs are met. The network will intensify an integrated, cross-cutting approach and also serve as an advocacy body, at both the national and international levels, so that the drive to eliminate onchocerciasis goes all the way, down to the very last mile. Country representatives, programs and partner organizations are invited to join GONE to work together for a brighter future and for the right to SEE Oncho GONE.