African Programme for Onchocerciasis Control (APOC)

External evaluations of APOC

APOC has been the object of two external evaluations. For both, the purpose was to assess the progress towards meeting the Programme’s objectives, and to make recommendations. A third external evaluation is planned for 2010, and a fourth and final evaluation is planned for 2015.

The first external evaluation (2000)

The first external evaluation concluded that APOC’s strategy of community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) was:

“a timely and innovative strategy for fighting a widespread scourge… Communities have been deeply involved in their own health care on a massive scale, which raises hopes of sustainability”.

The evaluation also noted that it was:

“deeply concerned about the sustainability… once APOC funding comes to an end.”

The second external evaluation (2005)

The second external evaluation identified substantial obstacles to the achievement of APOC’s goals, finding that:

“APOC is moving steadily towards its objectives but is still facing substantial challenges [such as] severe adverse events… [and] delays, particularly in conflict or post-conflict situations where a number of projects have not even started”.

APOC’s reponse to the evaluation findings

In response to these findings, APOC is undertaking remedial action including:

  • reducing delays in launching CDTI projects
  • encouraging non-governmental development organizations (NGDOs) to take on new CDTI projects
  • increasing financial support to projects in conflict and post-conflict areas.

In projects where there is a risk of severe adverse events, APOC is:

  • increasing financial support to provide peripheral health facilities with the required drugs and equipment to deal with severe adverse events
  • urging CDTI projects to raise awareness of communities to the risk of severe adverse events
  • providing special technical advisors in the management of severe adverse events.