Malawi trachoma free

Trachoma

Malawi has been certified Trachoma free by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Secretary for Health, Charles Mwansambo on Wednesday said this follows the elimination of trachoma in the country.

"The certification is a huge achievement for the country and this is as a result of various interventions that the Ministry and its partners have been conducting in the fight against trachoma," he said.

What is Trachoma

Trachoma is a preventable disease of the eyes caused by infection with the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis.

This Chlamydia trachomatis is different from the sexually transmitted form of this germ. It causes loss of vision and blindness in older people who have had severe active trachoma, usually since childhood.

One of the strategies that have been implemented in the country is what is termed the 'SAFE Strategy' which comprises of surgery for trachomatous trichiasis (TT), antibiotics to clear ocular chlamydia trachomatis infection and facial cleanliness and Environmental improvement (particularly in access to water and sanitation) to reduce chlamydia trachomatis transmission .

Mwansambo explained that while Malawi is celebrating this milestone it is important that the public continues to practice trachoma preventive measures to sustain this achievement.

Some of these measures include the continuation of facial cleanliness by promoting clean faces to reduce spread of infection, improvements to water and sanitation facilities.

He also called on early hospital seeking behavior if one has symptoms of trachoma such as red, sore, sticky eyes and discharge from the nose.