In 1974 the Onchocerciasis Control Program (OCP) began its mission to control river blindness (onchocerciasis) in Africa, transitioning into the African Program for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC) in 1995. The launch of this collection coincides with the 41st anniversary of one of the most successful Private-Public-Partnership for health in Africa and describes all facets of the success leading to the effective control of river blindness: partnerships, funding, distribution strategies, monitoring and evaluation, lessons learned, and advocacy. This partnership is unique in the involvement of a broad range of financial, scientific and operational partners, with crucial roles played by a private sector drug donation and by a network of 15 NGOs.
Over the past two decades, these factors have been replicated and other companies have initiated donation programs of drugs to support other control and elimination efforts for neglected tropical diseases (NTDs). OCP and APOC have been so successful that blindness caused by onchocerciasis is no longer a public health problem in most of the countries. The Partnership now reaches more than 100 million people annually across Africa to control the disease. Today, billions are treated worldwide for NTDs and even larger partnerships have formed to improve collaboration and to ensure that the world's poorest populations have access to medicines for NTDs and strengthened health systems to improve health and fight poverty.
PLOS Collections: www.ploscollections.org/APOC
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: published 14 May 2015 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003562
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: published 14 May 2015 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003506
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: published 14 May 2015 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003507
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: published 14 May 2015 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003508
PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases: published 14 May 2015 | info:doi/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003542