Ochocerciasis - commonly known as "river blindness" - is a disease that afflicts some one million people in West Africa. It is estimated that 70,000 have been totally blinded and another 30,000 have severely impaired vision as a result of the disease. The culprit? A small black fly about the size of the North American housefly. In 1973 government representatives from seven African nations met in Accra, Ghana, to approve battle plans against the dreaded blackfly (Simulium damnosum) that is plaguing West Africa. The World Health Organization (WHO), the World Bank, and other United Nations agencies had drafted a twenty-year plan for controlling river blindness. The plan will cost some 120 million dollars.
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