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Old 10-02-2013, 09:33 PM
Location: Native Floridian, USA
4,904 posts, read 6,115,047 times
Reputation: 6110


I could not sleep recently and was watching PBS when a program came on about the disease called River Blindness and what had been done and was being done to combat this horrible, debilitating scourge in Central Africa, as well as, some parts of South and Central America and, sparingly, in Mexico. Although it was hard to see people infected with these parasites, I cried when I saw how effective the medicine, Ivermectin, was in returning people to normal lives. It is truly an amazing and uplifting story. I couldn't find a link to the whole story but, it is a wonderful program to see if anyone gets the chance to do so.

It might not hold a lot of interest for some people but I found it fascinating. I copied a few of the articles in hopes of providing a brief overview of the story. It helps to somewhat restore my faith in human nature.

The story went into some detail about the fight Uganda has made against River Blindness. It was ambitious to say the least but seems to be having results. Their goal was to eradicate the disease completely, although I can't quite seem how that can happen unless surrounding countries have the same goal.

In 1987, pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co., Inc. made the unprecedented announcement
that it would donate Mectizan® (Ivermectin) to “all who needed it for as long as needed”.

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Rx for Survival . Global Health Champions . Uche Amazigo, PhD | PBS


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this last link was not an integral part of the topic but I found it interesting and it did mention Merck and their decades long battle against the disease.

There are doctors in SA who are very expert in excising the nodules and it is a common practice in that part of the world. But, the nodules are sometimes deep under the skin and, therefore, all can't be surgically removed, leaving the person still infected with the adult worms.

I hope the goal of eradication is achieve and I'm sorry if this is a subject that makes people squeamish.
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Old 10-03-2013, 08:29 AM
Location: Victoria TX
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The disease is already resistant to Ivermectin, and the number of cases doubled from 2000 to 2005.
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Old 10-08-2013, 05:18 PM
Location: Native Floridian, USA
4,904 posts, read 6,115,047 times
Reputation: 6110
I have been away from the computer.

I haven't been able to find any articles about River Blindness resistant to Ivermectin. I am so interested in this, I would appreciate it if you could post some links. Apparantly, it has been found very recently that ivermectin is a potent drug for other illnesses, either alone, or in conjunction with other drugs. I find that very encouraging. From everything I read, ivermection is still being given twice a year to patients.

I found it an amazing story.
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