Malawi Onchocerciasis Transmission Assessment

Onchocerciasis, also commonly known as river blindness, is a Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD).  

In 2014, Malawi began ‘transmission assessment activities’ to map and treat river blindness by establishing blackfly catching sites that would determine to what extent river blindness was a threat to communities. While many sites yielded results, the Chiradzulu and Neno districts were not productive, and no adult flies could be collected for sampling. 

African researchers

What the Malawi Onchocerciasis Transmission Assessment has achieved

To address this gap, from April to September 2020, GLIDE supported additional research to be conducted in these two districts to help inform a complete approach to eliminate river blindness in Malawi. The samples from the Malawi Onchocerciasis Transmission Assessment in one of these two districts have been sent for analysis to a lab in Ouagadougou and results were delivered in March 2021. These results will be reviewed and fed into the upcoming Malawi Onchocerciasis Elimination Expert Advisory Committee  (MOEEAC) and the development of the Malawi NTD Master Plan  2021-2025. 

Over the course of recent years, GLIDE has partnered with the Malawi Onchocerciasis Control Programme (MOCP) to conduct onchocerciasis transmission assessments in two districts for which there were gaps in data.  

GLIDE expanded its engagement in Malawi to further accelerate the elimination of onchocerciasis nationally through the convening of Malawi’s Onchocerciasis Elimination Expert Advisory Committee (MOEEAC) which serves as the country’s National Onchocerciasis Elimination Committee. Outcomes from this meeting have served to guide the development of Malawi’s NTD Master Plan which will guide its disease elimination activities from 2022-2026.