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Still Waters

Beating river blindness by fly-catching

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Africa is beginning to win its battle against the parasitic river blindness infection, thanks in no small part to the painstaking work of villagers who catch the flies responsible for the disease.

The Kou Valley in Burkina Faso is one of the country's most fertile areas; a land of lush paddy fields, undulating hills and a meandering river.

But for decades it stood empty - its inhabitants too wary to cultivate it.

What kept them away, and many more from river basins across Africa, is river blindness (onchocerciasis), a disease transmitted by the black fly, a tiny insect that breeds in fast-flowing waters.

http://www.bbc.co.uk...gazine-22201676

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