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The Crab and The Fly: River Blindness

In early 2007, high-ranking Ugandan government officials announced the country's strategy for eliminating river blindness nationwide. Uganda, one of 18 endemic countries in Africa, is the first to announce a nationwide plan to eliminate river blindness.

Ugandan officials believe that eliminating the disease will be more cost-effective than continuing control efforts indefinitely for its estimated 2 million nationals at risk. In previous decades, the country has successfully eliminated the disease from three isolated areas. The Carter Center supports the country's new initiative.

Onchocerciasis, or river blindness, is a parasitic disease transmitted by the bites of small black flies that breed in rapidly flowing streams and rivers. The Carter Center's River Blindness Program assists ministries of health to eliminate river blindness in the six countries in the Americas — Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, and Venezuela — through the special Onchocerciasis Elimination Program of the Americas and to control river blindness in five African countries: Cameroon, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan, and Uganda.

Learn more about the Carter Center's River Blindness Program: http://www.cartercenter.org/health/river_blindness/index.html

Founded in 1982 by former U.S. President Jimmy Carter and former First Lady Rosalynn Carter in partnership with Emory University, The Carter Center is committed to advancing human rights and alleviating unnecessary human suffering. The Center wages peace, fights disease, and builds hope worldwide.

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