Sightsavers has been using Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and satellite imagery to help treat river blindness among nomadic groups.
Sightsavers is an international charity that works to treat and prevent neglected tropical diseases in developing countries. The organisation's research team were recently challenged with locating and treating nomadic people living in the Massangam Health district in Cameroon. This area has a high infection rate of Onchocerciasis (or "river blindness"), a disease spread by flies that live near fast-flowing rivers. This parasitic infection causes severe skin irritation, itching and, eventually, irreversible blindness. It was known that a significant proportion of that community had missed out on previous treatment programmes due to living outside of settled communities and the location of their camps sometimes being unknown to health authorities.
Reaching semi-nomadic groups using a test and treat (with doxycycline) strategy in a challenging onchocerciasis focus in West Region of Cameroon
- Is mobile outreach with a doxycycline test and treat strategy (TTd) an effective strategy in reducing onchocerciasis prevalence and intensity of infection amongst hard-to-reach nomadic groups in Massangam health area (HA)?
- What is the variation in prevalence of onchocerciasis and intensity of infection (community microfilaria load (CML)) in the different age and sex groups of hard-to-reach nomad community in the Massangam HA?
- What was the coverage of ivermectin mass drug administration in the nomad population with respect to the last round of ivermectin MDA?
- What is the cost of the mobile outreach strategy in this context, per person screened and treated?