Sponsored jointly by SERB, India and ERC, European Union
Onchocerciasis is caused by the worm Onchocerca volvulus and affects many people in remote areas in Africa (99% of all cases) and Latin America, and is associated with skin disease, blindness and several forms of epilepsy. Especially the latter is related to high morbidity, disability and social stigma in endemic regions. Recently, the NSETHIO team (ERC project from University of Antwerp) and its collaborators collected information on the prevalence and incidence of epilepsy, seropositivity in both people with and without epilepsy, vector biology, infection and biting rates, and level of disability from endemic areas of many countries in Africa. In this collaborative project, we aim to use these numerous epidemiological datasets collected by the NSETHIO consortium, and applying stochastic modelling technique to estimate disease burden of OAE and investigate to what extent existing control strategies can reduce OAE and NS disease prevalence compared to intensified intervention strategies.