Fighting neglected tropical diseases in Africa

Today the treatment Mectizan® is used to prevent river blindness, which was endemic in Kaduna before Sightsavers began their intervention 10 years ago. This year is 25 years since the pharmceutical Merck & Co Inc took the historic decision to donate the anti-parasitic treatment free of charge for as long as it is needed.

Photographer Kate Holt traveled to Kaduna, Nigeria to examine river blindness, the world's leading cause of preventable sight loss. More than 100 million people in Africa are at high risk of contracting the disease. A conference in Washington, DC — hosted by the World Bank and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation — is now attempting to shine a light on this and other neglected tropical diseases.