You can provide 7 times worth of sigh-saving medicine to fight River blindness.
River Blindness is an infectious disease that causes intense pain, unbearable itching and irreversible blindness. In short, it destroys lives.
River Blindness took away Albert’s livelihood and dignity.
George had to watch his own father, Albert, suffer horrible itching and constant pain for many years due to this horrible disease. Eventually Albert went completely blind.
“I used to be mobile, hard-working and strong,” 74 year-old Albert says. “I hunted for antelopes and wild pigs. I was able to feed my family. It was a good time…”
Albert was infected while out hunting, near the fast-flowing streams and rivers that are the ideal breeding grounds for black flies. He didn’t realise that with every bite, tiny worms were entering his body. Then they started reproducing by the hundreds of thousands.
At first, Albert noticed bumps under his skin. These were the parasite’s larvae, clustering together in knots. When they died, they released a toxin that resulted in unbearable itching.
Think about how irritating a single mosquito bite can be. What Albert experienced was much, much worse. His chest, back head and armpits were on fire with pain and disabling itching. He scratched his skin raw with an old corn cob, but there was no relief.
As he was suffering, Albert also noticed his vision weakening.
“First I could not recognise people from far anymore. Then I could hardly see the people close to me. My surroundings became foggy. Eventually I saw only shadows – and finally I lost my sight completely.”
Albert’s son George was helpless to do anything to stop the suffering.
Would he and his children be next? Would they suffer the same pain and darkness?
You see, once a person is infected it does not stop there. Black flies bite the infected person, picking up the parasite and spreading it to others. Soon, an entire community is at risk of going blind.
“I fear going blind.” George says. “My father’s situation shows you what blindness means. He can do nothing anymore. Here in the community, if somebody is blind, he is seen as a person with no value. People laugh at him. He is seen as rubbish.”
George had to watch in horror as this disease stripped his father of both his livelihood and his dignity.
Now, he’s afraid of his own future and the future of his children if they lose their sight. And he’s not alone in his fear.
“I fear to get blind, because you cannot see,” George’s nine-year old son Marceil says.
He looks after his grandfather, Albert, after school instead of playing football with the other boys. “When you cannot see, you cannot do things yourself and you cannot learn. But I like to learn, I like to go to school.”
But there is a cure. Ivermectin. If we can get Ivermectin to everybody who needs it, we can eradicate River Blindness completely in the treated areas by 2026.
The medicine is donated free of charge for families like George’s. All we have to do is get it to them.
We are committed to ending River Blindness in the areas of Africa where people are threatened by this horrible disease.
It’s already been wiped out in Senegal and Mail, so we know it is possible and that this plan works.
And because of the donation of Ivermectin from Merck, your gift today will multiply SEVEN TIMES in value.
The end of River Blindness is in our hands. Help us to get this sight-saving medicine to families living in fear. Please give generously today.