WHO moves to eliminate trachoma

THE World Health Organisation (WHO), in partnership with the Zimbabwe government, is conducting a trachoma baseline survey across the country to determine the extent of the tropical disease, which is a leading cause of preventable blindness globally.

Trachoma is caused by bacteria, and is spread from person to person by flies, and on towels and face cloths. Poor hygiene, crowded places, lack of water, and environmental factors such as humid conditions, improper disposal of garbage also adds to the spread of the disease, especially among children.

Isaac Phiri, the Health ministry deputy director non-communicable disease, said: “We moved into the communities to engage people in health education, especially against open defecation because the flies that carry the parasites feed on human excreta.”

WHO medical officer responsible for disease prevention and control Anderson Chimusoro said trachoma surveys are essential in that they provide the fundamental data for quantifying disease burden that facilitates planning, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of trachoma control programmes.

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