Project profile — African Program for Onchocerciasis Control - Phase III


IBRD Trust Funds - World Bank (44001)
2009-11-19 - 2014-02-11
Global Affairs Canada
WGM Africa

Country / region 

• Africa, regional (100.00%)


• Health, General: Health policy and administrative management (12110) (30.00%)
• Basic Health: Infectious disease control (12250) (70.00%)

Policy marker 

• Gender equality (not targeted)
• Environmental sustainability (cross-cutting) (not targeted)
• Participatory development and good governance (not targeted)
• Trade development (not targeted)
• Biodiversity (not targeted)
• Climate change mitigation (not targeted)
• Climate Change Adaptation (not targeted)
• Urban issues (not targeted)
• Desertification (not targeted)
• Children's issues (not targeted)
• Youth Issues (not targeted)
• Disability (not targeted)
• Indigenous Issues (not targeted)
• ICT as a tool for development (not targeted)


The purpose of this project is to establish, by 2015, a system capable of eliminating onchocerciasis (river blindness) as a public health problem in all African countries. It aims to create a system which could be used as a basis for introducing other health interventions. The project activities include: providing the training, expertise, and equipment needed to combat onchocerciasis at the community level among an estimated population of 120 million; training national health workers and providing the expertise needed to develop and implement national onchocerciasis policies, plans, and programs designed to train 550,000 people to distribute medicine to communities; and conducting research on available treatments and their long-term effects. Onchoceriasis (commonly known as river blindness) is a parasitic disease that can cause blindness, skin rashes, lesions, intense itching, and skin depigmentation.

Expected results 


Results achieved 

Over 99 million people have been treated with ivermectin in 24 African countries, representing 95% of targeted communities and an increase of 10 countries since 2011. In 2012, 581,737,000 of ivermectin tablets have been distributed in 26 countries, including 19% for onchocerciasis only and 71% for joint administration against onchocerciasis and lymphatic filariasis. Until 2010, the project has protected 120 million people at risk of contracting the disease, helped prevent 500,000 cases of blindness, and reduces 86% the prevalence of unbearable itching. Geographical coverage (number of communities targeted by the project) remains stable with an average of 95%. However, the therapeutic coverage (number of people treated) is at 76.4% (target of 80% by 2015 to eliminate onchocerciasis in the countries covered by ivermectin treatment). The project conducted in 2012 and 2013 an epidemiological survey in ten countries. The results of this assessment indicate that villages observed in six of the 10 countries have reached a breakpoint for onchocerciasis elimination. In 2012, the project has trained 81,520 health workers from 22 countries who contributed to the training of 668,094 Community-Directed Distributers (CDD) also from 22 countries and responsible for the distribution of drugs. This training has enabled community ownership of Community-Directed Intervention (CDI) approach to ensure a sound and efficient distribution of drugs. In recent years, APOC gave technical and financial support to15 medical schools and nursing schools in several countries in Africa to integrate the Community-Directed Intervention (CDI) approach in their curricula. This adds to the 67 medical schools and nursing schools supported in 2011. 6 Masters and one Bac Degree in Public Health Scholarships were granted during the same period. Recipients have returned to their former positions.

Budget and spending 

Original budget $1,100,000
Planned disbursement $0
Country percentages by sector
Type of finance Aid grant excluding debt reorganisation
Collaboration type Bilateral
Type of aid Contributions to specific-purpose programmes and funds managed by implementing partners
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