The Slash and Clear for ONchocerciasis control and Epilepsy prevention (SCONE) project, led by EDCTP Career Development Fellow Dr Joseph N. Siewe Fodjo, aims to deploy a novel method (Slash and Clear) to reduce the abundance of blackfly insects, vectors on the tropical disease onchocerciasis (river blindness), in Cameroonian villages. During the first year of this project, Dr Siewe Fodjo and his team were able to identify sites along the Sanaga river with more incidence of the blackflies and measure the biting rates. The team have also engaged with the community in the study villages and conducted various activities, including surveys and focus group discussions. They have also sensitised the community to strictly adhere to the community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) annual campaigns in view of the presence of the onchocerciasis parasite in several samples obtained from the villages.

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