Sowda needs to be controlled [Archives:2003/643/Health]

June 19 2003

Results of health studies on a number of valleys in different governorates of Yemen have proved that a nematode onchocerciasis disease “al-Sowda” changes the skin color and causes server itching that many lead to a visual disorder and blindness.
The estimated people who are under the danger of this disease are 250,000.
The cases in Yemen distinguished by infecting the foot or special place on the skin with itching and swelling besides a dark color that results from the severe itching.
The areas in which the disease has spread have not received any attention, however, the Social charitable Islah association has exerted great efforts to curb this disease especially in the poor areas that are deprived of health services and having no financial sources to fight back diseases.
The association activities are embodied by providing drugs and distributing them via a wide network of volunteers cooperating with local, regional and international organizations.
The association has started its actual work in the beginning of 2001 with 6 valleys in two governorates.
By 2002 the services have reached to 15 valleys in 4 governorates. Central team carries out regular visits, once every three months to observe the program work in the targeted areas. The fight program that association has adopted has achieved tangible successes and 77071 cases have been so far cured.
Moreover, the community has been trained to diagnose symptoms of the disease. The program of the association has provided medical services for people and distributed 20,000 awareness bulletins and printing 10,000 health letters and distributed too.
The implementing of health program has been internationally appreciated for the success it has achieved.