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Is onchocerciasis elimination in Africa feasible by 2025: a perspective based on lessons learnt from the African control programmes

Overview of attention for article published in Infectious Diseases of Poverty, July 2018
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Is onchocerciasis elimination in Africa feasible by 2025: a perspective based on lessons learnt from the African control programmes
Published in
Infectious Diseases of Poverty, July 2018
DOI 10.1186/s40249-018-0446-z
Pubmed ID

Yankum Dadzie, Uche V. Amazigo, Boakye A. Boatin, Azodoga Sékétéli


Onchocerciasis is found predominantly in Africa where large scale vector control started in 1974. Registration and donation of ivermectin by Merck & Co in 1987 enabled mass treatment with ivermectin in all endemic countries in Africa and the Americas. Although elimination of onchocerciasis with ivermectin was considered feasible only in the Americas, recently it has been shown possible in Africa too, necessitating fundamental changes in technical and operational approaches and procedures. The American programme(OEPA) operating in onchocerciasis epidemiological settings similar to the mild end of the complex epidemiology of onchocerciasis in Africa, has succeeded in eliminating onchocerciasis from 4 of its 6 endemic countries. This was achieved through biannual mass treatment with ivermectin of 85% of the eligible population, and monitoring and evaluation using serological tests in children and entomological tests. The first African programme(OCP) had a head start of nearly two decades. It employed vector control and accumulated lots of knowledge on the dynamics of onchocerciasis elimination over a wide range of epidemiological settings in the vast expanse of its core area. OCP made extensive use of modelling and operationalised elimination indicators for entomological evaluation and epidemiological evaluation using skin snip procedures. The successor African programme(APOC) employed mainly ivermectin treatment. Initially its objective was to control onchocerciasis as a public health problem but that objective was later expanded to include the elimination of onchocerciasis where feasible. Building on the experience with onchocerciasis elimination of the OCP, APOC has leveraged OCP's vast modelling experience and has developed operational procedures and indicators for evaluating progress towards elimination and stopping ivermectin mass treatment of onchocerciasis in the complex African setting. Following the closure of APOC in 2015, implementation of onchocerciasis elimination in Africa appears to overlook all the experience that has been accumulated by the African programmes. It is employing predominantly American processes that were developed in a dissimilar setting from the complex African onchocerciasis setting. This is impeding progress towards decisions to stop intervention in many areas that have reached the elimination point. This article summarizes lessons learned in Africa and their importance for achieving elimination in Africa by 2025.

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Mendeley readers

The data shown below were compiled from readership statistics for 66 Mendeley readers of this research output. Click here to see the associated Mendeley record.

Geographical breakdown

Country Count As %
Unknown 66 100%

Demographic breakdown

Readers by professional status Count As %
Student > Master 15 23%
Student > Ph. D. Student 9 14%
Researcher 9 14%
Student > Postgraduate 5 8%
Student > Bachelor 5 8%
Other 11 17%
Unknown 12 18%
Readers by discipline Count As %
Medicine and Dentistry 16 24%
Agricultural and Biological Sciences 7 11%
Nursing and Health Professions 6 9%
Immunology and Microbiology 6 9%
Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology 5 8%
Other 15 23%
Unknown 11 17%

Attention Score in Context

This research output has an Altmetric Attention Score of 2. This is our high-level measure of the quality and quantity of online attention that it has received. This Attention Score, as well as the ranking and number of research outputs shown below, was calculated when the research output was last mentioned on 09 July 2018.
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Outputs from Infectious Diseases of Poverty
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Altmetric has tracked 13,199,565 research outputs across all sources so far. This one is in the 42nd percentile – i.e., 42% of other outputs scored the same or lower than it.
So far Altmetric has tracked 464 research outputs from this source. They receive a mean Attention Score of 4.0. This one has gotten more attention than average, scoring higher than 51% of its peers.
Older research outputs will score higher simply because they've had more time to accumulate mentions. To account for age we can compare this Altmetric Attention Score to the 267,687 tracked outputs that were published within six weeks on either side of this one in any source. This one is in the 48th percentile – i.e., 48% of its contemporaries scored the same or lower than it.
We're also able to compare this research output to 5 others from the same source and published within six weeks on either side of this one.