Merck Applauds Colombia for First PAHO/WHO Verification of Elimination of River Blindness
WHITEHOUSE STATION, N.J., July 29, 2013 /3BL Media/ - Merck (NYSE: MRK), known as MSD outside the United States and Canada, applauds the government of Colombia whose work with the MECTIZAN® Donation Program and The Carter Center-sponsored Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas led to today’s Pan American Health Organization, the World Health Organization’s Regional Office for the Americas (PAHO/WHO), verification of Colombia as the first country in the world to eliminate the transmission of river blindness (onchocerciasis), using MECTIZAN (ivermectin). Onchocerciasis is one of the leading causes of preventable blindness worldwide.
“We are humbled by the great work of the MECTIZAN Donation Program and its partners in protecting future generations of Colombians from a disease that carries devastating implications for people, families, healthcare systems and local economies,” said Kenneth C. Frazier, chairman and chief executive officer, Merck. “It is tremendously rewarding to see the alliance of partners achieve the long-held goal of making river blindness a disease of the past in Colombia.”
For more information, please view the news releases from:
- Colombia Ministry of Health and Social Protection (Spanish)
- MECTIZAN Donation Program
- Carter Center-sponsored Onchocerciasis Elimination Program for the Americas
About the MECTIZAN Donation Program
In October 1987, Merck announced it would donate the medication MECTIZAN to all who need it for as long as necessary until onchocerciasis is eliminated as a public health problem. The MECTIZAN Donation Program reaches more than 100 million people annually. www.mectizan.org.
In Latin America, since 1989, more than 10 million treatments of donated MECTIZAN have been delivered by community health workers and non-governmental organizations.
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