Global & Disaster Medicine

Trachoma is the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness, but in May, the WHO declared that Nepal had eliminated trachoma as a public health problem, making it the sixth country to do so; Ghana is the 7th.


“…..The bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis, can be transmitted from person to person by, for example, sharing a towel. But in rural areas, it is more commonly transmitted by flies that crawl over children’s faces to eat the discharge from runny eyes and noses, and then flit back to human feces to lay their eggs.

Victims are first infected as toddlers, but permanent eye damage takes decades and usually sets in after age 30. To break that chain, the W.H.O. recommends a four-pronged strategy: surgery for advanced cases; annual antibiotic doses for everyone in hard-hit areas; teaching mothers to wash their children’s faces frequently; and use of pit latrines, which reduce fly populations……”

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