In 2020, GLIDE partnered with The Carter Center on two of its long-standing programmes, aiming to achieve the elimination of onchocerciasis (river blindness) in the Americas, and malaria and lymphatic filariasis (elephantiasis) on the island of Hispaniola. Through this partnership, GLIDE is furthering its mission to effect real change in the eradication of neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).

Remote village on Amazon river

Reaching local communities

The partnership with The Carter Center’s Onchocerciasis Elimination Program (OEPA) is testing innovative technologies to reach communities on the Venezuela-Brazil border in order to reach the last vestiges of river blindness in the Americas. A key part of the elimination puzzle in the Americas is understanding the Yanomami people, an isolated indigenous community living along the border of Brazil and Venezuela. The work of cataloguing the extent of the Yanomami settlements is now complete in Brazil and is continuing in Venezuela, home to some of the most remote Amazon forest villages. Helping to identify additional vulnerable communities will also allow other essential health services to reach these citizens.

Eliminating neglected tropical diseases in Hispaniola

The partnership with The Carter Center’s Hispaniola Initiative supports the elimination of lymphatic filariasis and malaria on the island of Hispaniola, which is shared by Haiti and the Dominican Republic. Hispaniola is the only remaining malaria-endemic island in the Caribbean, and accounts for 95% of the lymphatic filariasis burden in the Americas. GLIDE is supporting the roll-out of the nationwide lymphatic filariasis surveillance survey in the Dominican Republic, which includes integrated testing for malaria and other vector-borne diseases of interest. GLIDE is also supporting mass drug administration (MDA) for lymphatic filariasis in Léogâne and Gressier districts in Haiti.

Eliminating malaria and lymphatic filariasis from Hispaniola will create a malaria-free Caribbean and will halve the number of countries fighting to eliminate lymphatic filariasis in the hemisphere. Cross-border collaboration is essential to achieve this goal and enhance the well-being of people who live on the island.