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Bulletin of the World Health Organization. 1954; 11:513-520.Residual-insecticide spraying methods may lead to the eradication of malaria from a country or from an area of it, and therefore to the possibility that the spraying campaign may eventually be discontinued. This is the final target to be aimed at in planning national malaria-control campaigns. As it is now known that some anopheline vector species may develop resistance to insecticides, a plea is made that control programmes should be planned to cover such large areas and with such criteria of efficiency as to eradicate malaria and to enable the campaign to be discontinued before resistance may have developed. (author's)
Oxford, England, Oxford University Press, 1990. xix, 136 p.The Commission on Health Research for Development is an independent international consortium formed in 1987 to improve the health of people in developing countries by the power of research. This book is the result of 2 years of effort: 19 commissioned papers, 8 expert meetings, 8 regional workshops, case studies of health research activities in 10 developing countries and hundreds of individual discussions. A unique global survey examined financing, locations and promotion of health research. The focus of all this work was the influence of health on development. This book has 3 sections: a review of global health inequities and why health research is needed; findings of country surveys, health research financing, selection of topics and promotion; conclusions and recommendations. Some research priorities are contraception and reproductive health, behavioral health in developing countries, applied research on essential drugs, vitamin A deficiency, substance abuse, tuberculosis. The main recommendations are: that all countries begin essential national health research (ENHR), with international partnership; that larger and sustained international funding for research be mobilized; and that larger and sustained international funding for research be mobilized; and that international mechanisms for monitoring progress be established. The book is full of graphs and contains footnotes, a complete bibliography and an index.
[Unpublished] 1986. 80 p. (WHO/CDD/84.17)This listing of research projects funded since 1980 by the Diarrheal Diseases Control Program of the WHO is arranged by broad priority area and scientific working group. Project title, investigator, and budget allocation for each are listed. Scientific working groups which are included are: bacterial enteric infections, parasitic diarrheas, viral diarrheas, drug development and management of acute diarrheas, global/global groups, global/regional groups, and research strengthening activities. Projects are also classified according to geographic area: African region, American region, Eastern Meditterranean region, European region, Southeast Asia region, and Western Pacific region.
[Unpublished] 1984. 51 p.This listing of research projects funded since 1980 by WHO's Diarrhoeal Diseases Control Programme, is arranged by project title, investigator and annual budget allocations. Project titles are listed by Scientific Working Grouping (SWG) and include research on bacterial enteric infections; parasitic diarrheas; viral diarrheas; drug development and management of acute diarrheas; global and regional groups and research strengthening activities. SWG projects are furthermore divided by geographical region: African, American, Eastern Medierranean, European, Southeast Asian and Western Pacific. The priority area for research within each SWG is specified.
Impact of combined large-scale ivermectin distribution and vector control on transmission of Onchocerca volvulus in the Niger basin, Guinea.
BULLETIN OF THE WORLD HEALTH ORGANIZATION. 1995; 73(2):199-205.As part of the World Health Organization Onchocerciasis Control Programme in West Africa (OCP), the attack phase of operations in the Niger basin in Guinea began in 1989 with the simultaneous use of ivermectin and vector control. All the 16 catching points were in holoendemic foci: 8 in the Niger basin in Guinea and 8 in the original OCP area (Mali, Ivory Coast, Ghana, and Burkina Faso). The data were analyzed according to prevalence of microfilariae in the skin and the mean community microfilarial load (CMFL). Between 1990 and 1992 the number of people in the villages treated increased by a factor of 6. In 1992 a total of 91,840 persons were treated in 550 villages. The study covered 10 years, during which 34,492 blackflies were caught at the 8 sites, 87.8% of which were parous. Larvicide applications coupled with annual large-scale ivermectin distribution had greatly reduced blackfly infectivity (by 78.8% for the number of infective larvae per 1000 parous flies; the number infective larvae in the head fell by 75.7% compared with the 1986-87 data before treatment began). After 2 years of large-scale ivermectin treatment, the reduction was 64.6%. In February and March of 1992 a defective larvicide worsened the situation. The average transmission potential during this period in Guinea was 7.3 compared with 93.7 for the original area. For the same number of blackflies caught, transmission in the original area was 5.6 times higher. The combination of vector control and ivermectin permitted excellent control of transmission. In the original OCP area, it took 6-8 years of vector control alone to obtain an equivalent decrease in blackfly infectivity. For the same number of flies caught, transmission was much higher in areas where ivermectin had not been distributed. The combined use of ivermectin and vector control has opened up new prospects for carrying out OCP operations with the possibility of reducing larviciding operations.
In: Mectizan (Ivermectin) and the Control of Onchocerciasis: Strengthening the Global Impact. A symposium sponsored by Merck and Co., Inc. marking the fifth anniversary of the donation of Mectizan for the treatment of onchocerciasis and held with the technical cooperation of the World Health Organization at the Hudson Theater in New York on September 23, 1992. Summary proceedings of the symposium. Rahway, New Jersey, Merck and Company, 1992. 59.In 1987 the availability of Mectizan and its potential for preventing onchocerciasis triggered a series of strategy discussions within the network of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) concerned with blindness prevention in developing countries. The nucleus of the NGO network had formed in 1975 with the creation of the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness (IAPB) and meets annually to plan collaboration in developing countries. Since 1982, the IAPB expanded to include a group of organizations involved solely in the nonmedical aspects of blindness, the Partnership Committee. In 1986, a strong relationship was developed between the consortium and the World Health Organization Programme for the Prevention of Blindness (PBL). Since 1988 very real progress has been made in strengthening commitment to long-term treatment with Mectizan. The latest example is the sponsorship of a medical officer post in PBL to coordinate NGO activities related to distribution of the drug. In previous years, several initiatives were undertaken by IAPB and the European Partners for Blindness Prevention (EPBP), including EPBP's obtaining substantial funding from the European Community for treatment programs in 9 African countries. The IAPB network is supported by Sight Savers, which commissioned the first survey of the causes of blindness in West Africa in 1956; it worked with OCP in one of its first programs in northern Ghana; and it set up training for blind adults there. In 1990 Sight Savers appointed a coordinator for its programs for distributing Mectizan in communities in 6 African countries, where 560,000 treatments were targeted in 1992. The NGO members of IAPB have taken the first positive steps in the distribution of Mectizan. The ready availability of free Mectizan has created concern over the ability to expand commitment for blindness prevention and eye care to onchocerciasis treatment programs, however, treatment with Mectizan enhances the success of fund-raising from all sources.
In: Mectizan (Ivermectin) and the Control of Onchocerciasis: Strengthening the Global Impact. A symposium sponsored by Merck and Co., Inc. marking the fifth anniversary of the donation of Mectizan for the treatment of onchocerciasis and held with the technical cooperation of the World Health Organization at the Hudson Theater in New York on September 23, 1992. Summary proceedings of the symposium. Rahway, New Jersey, Merck and Company, 1992. 57.Christoffel-Blindenmission (CBM) is an interdenominational Christian service organization for blind and disabled persons in many of the world's poorest developing countries. It supports more than 300 eye care programs in approximately 70 countries at an annual cost of US $15-16 million. Funded by many individual donors, fund raising activities are conducted in Europe, North America, and Australia. CBM operates through 8 regional offices: 3 in Asia, 3 in Africa, and 2 in Latin America. Program development and evaluation are the responsibility of regional representatives, each of whom uses the services of a medical consultant. CBM's program support is usually long term, based on a recipient's annual budget application and evaluation. Since 1988, CBM has been distributing 200,000 tablets of Mectizan each year to voluntary hospitals in 14 African countries to treat patients with onchocerciasis. CBM also supports community-based treatment programs in Ecuador and Zaire, and, in collaboration with OCP, in Sierra Leone. Plans for 1993 include establishing a program for 600,000 people in the Central African Republic (CAR) in collaboration with the CAR Ministry of Health and the River Blindness Foundation. As an organization, CBM identifies 5 specific barriers to be overcome in developing and sustaining programs of treatment with Mectizan: 1) Poor communication systems in the endemic areas, which require development of an appropriate infrastructure. 2) Lack of health knowledge, which requires a community awareness action. 3) Limited availability of financial resources in the worst-affected countries, requiring a mobilization of funds for long-term commitment. 4) Inadequately-trained personnel, requiring staff training as an integral part of all programs. 5) Affected communities have so many health problems that integration of distribution of Mectizan with already existing or developing primary health care activities is becoming increasingly important.
In: Mectizan (Ivermectin) and the Control of Onchocerciasis: Strengthening the Global Impact. A symposium sponsored by Merck and Co., Inc. marking the fifth anniversary of the donation of Mectizan for the treatment of onchocerciasis and held with the technical cooperation of the World Health Organization at the Hudson Theater in New York on September 23, 1992. Summary proceedings of the symposium. Rahway, New Jersey, Merck and Company, 1992. 61.Helen Keller International (HKI), founded in 1915, is the oldest US organization dedicated to blindness prevention in the developing nations. HKI's early work in xerophthalmia was followed by extensive programs in the provision of primary eye care and cataract services. More recently, the organization has become involved in onchocerciasis control programs. Their philosophy is to provide the kind of technical assistance that builds sustainable infrastructure within a national health program. They prefer to work in countries that have priorities in blindness prevention programs; and where those do not exist, they strive to develop them in cooperation with local authorities. In Burkina Faso and Niger, HKI is working with the local governments to implement surveillance systems that can detect reappearance of onchocerciasis in previously infected areas. In Mexico, HKI will be working with the existing onchocerciasis control program to develop an information system that can improve the efficiency of distributing Mectizan. In Cameroon, HKI is coordinating a program for distributing Mectizan in the Sanaga River Valley; and in Brazil, they are discussing a collaborative program of onchocerciasis control among Indians living on the Venezuela-Brazil border. In each country, they are trying to develop a cadre of persons at the national and local levels who can assume responsibility for programs of treatment with Mectizan as soon as possible. Previous experience with the distribution of vitamin A to control xerophthalmia taught that successful programs exist at the community level only when they involve the people themselves, as well as the health professionals. HKI believes that private, volunteer organizations are uniquely qualified to develop community-based interventions in cooperation with governments and multinational organizations. Such programs in the onchocerciasis-endemic areas will result in economic improvement, self-sufficiency, and improved health.
In: Mectizan (Ivermectin) and the Control of Onchocerciasis: Strengthening the Global Impact. A symposium sponsored by Merck and Co., Inc. marking the fifth anniversary of the donation of Mectizan for the treatment of onchocerciasis and held with the technical cooperation of the World Health Organization at the Hudson Theater in New York on September 23, 1992. Summary proceedings of the symposium. Rahway, New Jersey, Merck and Company, 1992. 47-8.The large-scale, phase IV clinical field trials of ivermectin (Mectizan) conducted by the UN Development Program/World Bank/World Health Organization Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases (TDR) and the Onchocerciasis Control Program in West Africa (OCP) are complete. They showed the drug to have a good safety profile and efficacy. With annual treatment, Mectizan can improve early anterior segment eye lesions and arrest the development of blindness. Clinical field trials also demonstrated that, in Africa, mass treatment with Mectizan reduces transmission of Onchocerca volvulus to about 40% of its original level, but this is insufficient to eliminate the disease solely by drug treatment. However, in Guatemala, trials with Mectizan showed that transmission could be reduced to zero. Thus, it would seem that continued use of the drug for longer than the lifetime of adult parasites in the body might be enough to eliminate onchocerciasis without the need for insecticide spraying. TDR also has been funding studies of operational issues in delivering Mectizan, including: inexpensive, rapid, and efficient methods to identify villages at high risk of disease; better and more cost-effective drug distribution systems carried out at the village level; and community perceptions of the sociocultural importance of onchocercal skin lesions. TDR allocated about $100,000 for the first round of the operational research studies in Nigeria. 11 of 41 proposals were selected for funding, and study results are expected by the end of 1992. Altogether, through 1991, TDR had invested some $3.2 million in studies applicable to the development and use of Mectizan to treat onchocerciasis. In its other onchocerciasis-related research, TDR is working to develop sensitive and specific diagnostic tests and to develop an effective, safe macrofilaricide that will kill adult worms in the human body.
In: Mectizan (Ivermectin) and the Control of Onchocerciasis: Strengthening the Global Impact. A symposium sponsored by Merck and Co., Inc. marking the fifth anniversary of the donation of Mectizan for the treatment of onchocerciasis and held with the technical cooperation of the World Health Organization at the Hudson Theater in New York on September 23, 1992. Summary proceedings of the symposium. Rahway, New Jersey, Merck and Company, 1992. 49-50.For optimal treatment compliance, the large-scale distribution of a drug such as Mectizan presupposes a well-structured support system through both governmental and nongovernmental channels, together with proper education and awareness at the community level. Beginning at the international level, the purpose and effectiveness of programs of treatment with Mectizan in onchocerciasis-endemic countries must be publicized to all development agencies and the community of international nongovernmental organizations. Within the United Nations system and related organizations, the specialized agencies concerned, such as the United Nations Development Programme, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the International Labor Organization, The World Bank, UNICEF, and, in particular, the World Health Organization, are well placed to initiate programs of treatment with Mectizan as part of development work having a bearing on health. Nongovernmental organizations can play a very significant role in various contexts for development of treatment programs by means of: advocacy, at the international, national, and community levels; project expertise and experience from work in developing countries; flexible, grassroots approaches that allow for tackling practical problems in a pragmatic manner; valuable experience from training health personnel and working with local staff in a wide variety of settings; being efficient resource mobilizers; and the possibility and experience of working with the local community considering particular needs and resources. At the national level, it is important that there be proper awareness of the socioeconomic impact of onchocerciasis. The Ministry of Health should play the main coordinating role with respect to support from NGOs and agencies. A policy of integration with primary health care should be implemented.
In: Mectizan (Ivermectin) and the Control of Onchocerciasis: Strengthening the Global Impact. A symposium sponsored by Merck and Co., Inc. marking the fifth anniversary of the donation of Mectizan for the treatment of onchocerciasis and held with the technical cooperation of the World Health Organization at the Hudson Theater in New York on September 23, 1992. Summary proceedings of the symposium. Rahway, New Jersey, Merck and Company, 1992. 29-30.Developing a good drug is a great achievement. However, delivering a particular drug to a target population can be a complex and expensive undertaking. So is delivering a drug such as Mectizan, when the majority of its users live in developing countries where the economic, political and social determinants are unfavorable for health care services. The success or failure of drug delivery systems for tropical diseases depends on: 1) regular production, 2) adequate local administration and management, 3) timely ordering and supply, 4) appropriate storage, 5) good transport facilities, 6) reasonable case identification, and 7) correct prescription and use. Specialized drugs for tropical diseases are often produced in limited batches according to orders received. As a result, critical delays in delivery can occur. In the case of Mectizan, there seems to be no problem with prompt delivery by Merck & Co. once a request for donation has been approved. The multi-disease approach for delivering Mectizan may be one way of economizing on personnel and transport costs. In the Central African Republic, using the established transport network for immunization programs has produced good results. However, since the range of coverage for vaccination purposes does not extend as far as the village level, bicycles had to be provided to take over from the dispensaries. In Uganda, orderlies trained for sleeping sickness surveillance offer potential staff for distributing Mectizan, as do the staff of successful leprosy programs, which are beginning to show interest in combined approaches. In the meantime, the role of the World Health Organization (WHO) is mainly to set internationally acceptable technical standards applicable to the distribution and use of Mectizan and to support research through the UN Development Programme/World Bank/WHO Special Programme for Research and Training in Tropical Diseases.
HEALTH POLICY AND PLANNING. 1993 Dec; 8(4):349-59.In 1974, WHO established the Onchocerciasis Control Programme (OCP) in the Volta River Basin in West Africa which largely consisted of longterm aerial spraying of the blackfly (Simulum damnosum), thereby killing the larvae of Onchocerca volvulus, the causative agent of onchocerciasis. OCP has since added the microfilarial drug, ivermectin, to its control efforts. Prior to the establishment of the OCP, the participating countries understood that they would gradually assume operational responsibility for the OCP, the participating countries understood that they would gradually assume operational responsibility for OCP activities (devolution). Ivermectin's introduction changed the content of devolution to progressive national participation rather than operational responsibility. The national staff have access to manuals on skin-snip surveys, ivermectin distribution, and monitoring of adverse reactions to the drug which comprise the first step of devolution. The aim of devolution is weaning OCP activities from a single disease vertical operation to their integration into national primary health care (PHC) services. Yet PHC services essentially do not exist in many parts of the Volta River Basin. Plans for devolution of the OCP included appropriate training in PHC management, epidemiology, multidisease surveillance, community sensitization and participation, and research in integration of vertical programs into horizontal ones. Fiscal obstacles currently threaten the OCP. Other obstacles facing the OCP are reinvasion of the blackfly, symptoms recurring after temporary abatement, and deteriorating health, economic, and political conditions in the region. These constraints prevent the OCP from implementing its new managerial and diplomatic tasks successfully, unless the donor community can support it. The optimism present at the beginning of the OCP has waned mainly because it was based on a vertical program. The donor community and participating governments (not the OCP management) are needed to maintain the progress the OCP made against onchocerciasis and to keep it on the list of national health priorities.
In: Wood C, Rue Y, ed. Health policies in developing countries. London, England, The Royal Society of Medicine, 1980. 167-72. (Royal Society of Medicine. International Congress and Symposium Series; No. 24)Research is the tool which can help accelerate control of filariasis including the most important, river blindness and elephantiasis. The principles for control include eliminating the vectors and changing the way of life of the people. However these methods do not take into account the different ecologies of the land, cultures of the people and technical and political differences of the endemic areas. The WHO Onchocerciasis Control Program in the Volta Basin has been highly successful, but reinvasion of vectors is possible and there is concern that unacceptable levels of pollution will occur. Several successful limited programs of control are cited, but the absence of suitable drugs to kill the parasites is evident. One of the areas of research is centering on the characterization of the parasites and their vectors. More studies of isoenzyme markers are needed to distinguish different species of filarial parasites. An important advance in the diagnosis of filariasis has been the application of membrane filtration techniques for detecting light infection. Some of the current vector research is noted. This is particularly important because the main vectors of filariasis in Africa are also the main vectors of malaria. WHO is encouraged to stimulate collaborative research in this area. Chemotherapy is currently the most encouraging aspect of research. WHO is supporting 4 major centers where old and new filaricides are being evaluated. Some experiments are indicating the possibility that resistance to the disease can be stimulated by using irradiated larvae as appear in a cat model. Testing is now underway in a bovine onchocerciasis model. The new laboratory developments must continue so they can be applied clinically.
American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 1983 May; 32(3):437-46.Following an overview of the less developed countries (LDCs) and their health problems, attention is directed to what pharmaceutical companies have been doing to develop tropical disease medicinals: past and current programs for the development of pharmaceuticals; the relationship of pharmaceuticals to other health problems; criticisms of the pharmaceutical industry; problems and constraints in developing drugs by pharmaceutical firms, particularly for tropical diseases; and strengthening incentives to pursue tropical medicine research in the future. There are 31 countries in the less developed category and they have 4 things in common: poverty; a high birthrate; a young population, and a low life expectancy. At the top of the list of the major health problems in developing countries are malaria, diarrheal diseases, and malnutrition. For malaria, there is a need for something new for chloroquine resistant infections, but research looks promising. Meanwhile, the use of presently available medications in much of the world would go far towards alleviating suffering and death from this disease. For diarrheal diseases and malnutrition the principal problems lie elsewhere than with development of new pharmaceuticals. For tuberculosis and leprosy, the 4th and 5th major health problems, therapy has improved markedly in recent years, yet there is room for improvement. Of the sexually transmitted diseases, only for sexually transmitted herpes is the industry missing a solution. On balance, it seems clear that the need for new pharmaceuticals, although important, is not as critical as some of the other needs of the LDCs. If this individual is correct in maintaining that the most important problems in the LDCs are pure water, adequate food, basic sanitation, and a distribution system for already available pharmaceuticals, then the question is why is the drug industry singled out for so much criticism. The principal charges, which are discussed in detail, are as follows: inadequate research on the endemic diseases of the developing and least developed countries; the practice of "dumping" drugs in developing countries that do not sell or sell for different indications at home; labeling of products differently than in the US; permitting over the counter sales of drugs that a prescription only goods in the US; selling products whose stated expiration date has passed; and charging high prices and reaping excessive profits. The critics are the UN agencies, consumer groups, trade unions, and media writers. Much of what is said is in defense of the pharmaceutical industry. but shortcomings are also noted.