Boletín médico del Hospital Infantil de México
Print version ISSN 1665-1146
According to the World Health Organization, onchocerciasis is the second cause of global blindness after trachoma. It was first discovered in America by Rodolfo Robles in Guatemala in 1915 (Robles's disease); in Chiapas, Mexico in 1923; and in Oaxaca in 1926. In 1930, the first control program was established in Mexico that, to date, has worked uninterruptedly. Three stages of the program can be described: a) from 1930-1946 the antilarvae campaign with creolin was carried out along with the elimination of larvae from water and the removal of nodules; (b) administration of diethylcarbamazine in 1947, removal of nodules and application of DDT in 1952; and c) in 1993 the elimination of the disease with ivermectin treatment and the removal of nodules. Until 1980, an average of 20,000 cases have been reported each year. Since 1993, with the initiation of the administration of ivermectin in two annual doses, the incidence was reduced to <100 new cases per year by the end of 2000 and the transmission in two foci (northern Oaxaca and in Chamula in Chiapas) has been deleted, with one remaining in Soconusco, Chiapas. In this article, we report on the campaign against river blindness during the past 17 years and why we assume that, in brief, this disease can be eliminated in Mexico.
Keywords : onchocerciasis; trachoma; nodules.