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Education And Debate

The World Health Organisation: Out of Geneva

BMJ 1995; 310 doi: (Published 21 January 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;310:181

Many feel that WHO's special programmes are obvious candidates for removal from the expensive and, in terms of tropical disease, irrelevant setting of Geneva. Supporters of this view refer to a programme that has become one of Africa's rare success stories. The onchocerciasis control programme has already achieved its 1995 objective of eliminating the disease as a public health or socioeconomic problem. From its base in Ouagadougou in Burkino Faso, west Africa, it has cut the prevalence of infection in the countries in which the disease is most endemic from 95% in 1974 to less than 5% today.

Why has this programme succeeded when practically every other programme in …

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