Neglected no more: ending trachoma, an infectious eye disease rooted in poverty

Trachoma has left millions blind or visually impaired, but we are writing the closing chapters in the long record of this devastating disease

In proportion to their collective contribution to human suffering, forgot tropical diseases( NTDs) have received insufficient attention. Today, thanks to incremental the advances in the social sciences of public health, growing programmatic suffer and commitment from endemic country governments, both donors and other partners, we are better equipped than ever before to recognise, avoid, restraint, eliminate and eradicate them.

Trachoma is one of many NTDs that are rooted in poverty. It is an infectious disease of the eye is generated by a bacterium, and recognized in its early stages by swelling of the inner surface of the eyelid. Infection is spread by the transfer of discharges from the eyes or nose of an infected person.

More severe shows, such as trichiasis, typically occur in adulthood after multiple untreated infections. Trichiasis is present when turned-in eyelashes scratch the eyeball a debilitatingly painful condition that may lead to progressive and irreversible visual impairment.

At present, about 0.45 million people are blind and 1.4 million people are severely visually impaired as a result of trachoma. Very basic interventions simple eyelid surgery, the antibiotic azithromycin to clear infection and facial cleanliness, water and sanitation can significantly reduce potential impacts of the disease. These interventions( surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness, environmental improvement) are represented by the acronym Safe: the strategy recommended by the World Health Organisation( WHO) to remove trachoma as a public health problem globally by 2020.

Morocco succeeds with Safe

Morocco adopted Safe in the early 1990 s, becoming the first country to implement the strategy at national scale and one of the first to benefit from Pfizers now long-running donation of azithromycin to trachoma elimination programmes.

In November 2016, Morocco was substantiated by the WHO as having removed trachoma as a public health problem, joining Oman and Mexico as the only countries documented to date as having beaten the disease. Other countries have stirred similar advance, and further official validations are likely to follow later in 2017.

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