According to the WHO, onchocerciasis (also known as ‘River Blindness’) affects more than a billion people worldwide.  Africa bears almost the entire global burden of onchocerciasis; “more than 99% of infected people live in 31 countries in sub-Saharan Africa”.  This infection is spread through the bite of a black fly which lives and breeds near lakes and rivers.  Once bitten, the adult parasite produces larvae which migrate to the skin, eyes and other organs.  When these die, this causes inflammation and if this happens behind the eye, this can lead to blindness.  

In Burkina Faso, this disease is still rife in some areas and many partners are working to eliminate the disease so that it is no longer a public health problem.


Supported project

In 2021-2022, the L’OCCITANE Foundation is supporting Sightsavers’ project to eliminate the Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) onchocerciasis (River Blindness) in the Cascades region of Burkina Faso.  This is one of the two regions in the country where river blindness is still endemic.  The project being supported is demonstrating community-centred, scalable approaches to the provision of drugs, surgery, technical material and training, which can be replicated across the country. 

Some figures

Budget 65,088 euros

Goal 57,360 beneficiaries