Dr Tony Ukety is an ophthalmologist with more than three decades of experience in tropical ophthalmology and neglected tropical diseases (NTDs), particularly in onchocerciasis elimination efforts; as well as international global health issues, of which 16 years were spent in rural areas in northeastern Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and 12 years at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva, Switzerland.
He pioneered the mapping of onchocerciasis in northeastern DRC within a context of political turmoil, paving the way for the launching of community-directed treatment with ivermectin (CDTI) in Uele focus and Ituri Province.
Within WHO, Dr Ukety facilitated the increase and strengthening of partnership leading to the verification of onchocerciasis elimination in 4 out of 6 endemic countries in Latin America, launching of onchocerciasis elimination efforts in Yemen and the expansion of CDTI activities in unstable areas in Africa.
Dr Ukety also coordinated the development of the last WHO Guideline for stopping mass drug administration and verifying elimination of human onchocerciasis: Criteria and Procedures which was published in January 2016.
Currently, Dr Ukety is involved in onchocerciasis research activities in finding out alternative strategies for accelerating onchocerciasis elimination in Africa. He also provides technical support to the national committee for onchocerciasis elimination of Chad, DRC and Uganda with a particular emphasis on cross-border issues.