See the original post (with photos) on USAID’s Medium account.

Fred Matalocu with his family. / Aggrey Mugisha, The Carter Center

“I have suffered from river blindness by scratching my body,” he said. “Some people used rough objects [to scratch themselves] as if their fingernails were insufficient” — objects such as dried maize cobs or sharp stones.

“Uganda was one of the first countries in Africa to formally declare its intention to eliminate transmission of onchocerciasis and will be the first to do so using mass drug administration,” said Senior Scientific Advisor Darin Evans with USAID’s Neglected Tropical Diseases Division.

“The children will be healthy, free from river blindness and disfigurement,” she said.

Fred Matalocu is hopeful that Moyo is forever free of onchocerciasis, and he delights in the economic and social benefits that have come from eliminating this disease that has hindered his community’s progress for so long.

“The decline of the disease has changed everything,” he said. “Crops can be planted near rivers and streams again. People are healthier and more productive. Children can go to school instead of staying home to help family members that have gone blind.”

In short, he said, “Our grandchildren will have a better future.”

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