August 20, 2011 – Gombe Distributes Free River Blindness Tablets, Mectizan
In an extensive attempt to check the spread of river blindness among its residents, the Gombe Ministry of Health distributed 4.2 million tablets of Mectizan to over 1.9 million people, Coordinator of River Blindness Disease Control in the state, Talatu Danzaria, said on Friday.
Onchocerciasis, also known as river blindness or Robles disease, is the world’s second-leading infectious cause of blindness. The parasite is transmitted to humans through the bite of a black fly of the genus Simulium.
Danzaria, said the drugs were dispensed free through community leaders every year, adding that they were supplied by the Federal Ministry of Health. She appealed to the people to avail themselves the opportunity for protection against the disease.
“You cannot get Mectizan tablets in any chemist, therefore, I am appealing to the public to take this advantage and benefit from this gesture,” she said.