Posts Tagged trachoma

A Global Strategy to Eliminate Blinding Trachoma, A Disease Targeted by END7

December 19th, 2011

International Trachoma Initiative

Eliminating a disease is no small task. It helps to have a detailed plan. Partners working to eliminate blinding trachoma, one of the seven neglected tropical diseases targeted by 2020 INSight: The End in Sight.

Produced by the International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC), 2020 INSight is a global strategic plan with crucial next steps toward trachoma elimination by 2020.More than 2 million people are either blind or suffer excruciating pain because of trachoma. It makes one person experience severe sight loss every four minutes and blinds four people every hour.  Over 4.6 million are in the final, painful stages of this eye disease and require surgery to prevent them from going blind. It is endemic in at least 59 countries, in areas with limited access to water and sanitation.

A coordinated effort by governments, nongovernmental organizations, donors and other stakeholders is urgently needed to achieve the goal. Crucial next steps include the following:

  • Survey districts where trachoma is suspected to be endemic, so intervention can begin;
  • Dramatically improve access to clean water and latrines;
  • Increase global funding for trachoma control, including implementation of the SAFE strategy (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness, Environmental improvement);
  • Train teachers and other community leaders about facial cleanliness and better hygiene so they can spread the message in their communities;
  • Quickly address the backlog of 4.6 million people who need surgery to prevent blindness;
  • Identify support for more mass drug administration (MDA) programs to provide about 380 million more antibiotic treatments.

More than 80 percent of the burden of active trachoma is concentrated in 14 countries, where immediate action is needed. Eliminating the disease in Africa alone would boost the continent’s gross domestic product (GDP) 20-30 percentage points based on conservative annual productivity loss estimates.

Since 1998, Pfizer Inc has donated more than 225 million doses of the antibiotic Zithromax® to treat and prevent blinding trachoma. The International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) manages the distribution of the medicine.

Get your copy of 2020 INSightICTC website.

Kenya: Nation Setting Sights on Eliminating Blinding Disease

November 16th, 2011

Woman with trachoma. Photo credit: HKI

All Africa (the largest online distributor of Africa-focused news) and includes a quote from Global Network Managing Director Dr. Neeraj Mistry:

Olenarau — Had a community health worker not found him at the rural Kenyan village of Olenarau, 65-year-old Tonke Nalakiti would still be blaming his failing sight on old age.

But the health worker, who was trained to identify patients infected with trachoma, succeeded in convincing Nalakiti that his condition could be corrected through simple surgery and antibiotics.

After a swab of iodine and a jab of anesthesia to ease the pain of incision, the elder from the remote village south of the capital, Nairobi, had the infection surgically corrected in less than 15 minutes.

National surveys indicate that Nalakiti is among some 3.4 percent of patients in Kajiado County whose trachoma has reached the blinding stage, making it a serious public health problem in that region and many other similarly remote areas with little access to health care and screening. Click here to continue reading.

Reading List 10/25/2011

October 25th, 2011

Stay up to date on the latest NTD and global health news with our reading list! Today were reading about:

Pfizer Donates Zithromax, Promotes Eye Screening AS part of its corporate social responsibility and efforts to forestall the onset of preventable eye disorders such glaucoma and trachoma which lead to blindness, Pfizer Specialities Nigeria recently held free eye screening services in Abuja, Ilorin, Kano, Osun, Akwa-Ibom and Delta States. A donation of Zithromax was officially handed to the Minister of Health in Abuja through the companys International trachoma Initiative.

Global plan targets devastating eye disease Blinding trachoma, one of the oldest known infectious eye diseases, may be facing its end game. The worlds leading cause of preventable blindness, trachoma brings extraordinary human suffering and economic devastation to tens of millions of people, mostly women and children in poorer countries. Yet as a result of development and targeted interventions it is now limited to an estimated 59 countries, often affecting the poorest populations in Africa and Asia.

5 districts declared filariasis disease free Dhaka, Oct 25 ( – The government has declared five districts free of the crippling mosquito-borne filariasis disease, for the first time in Bangladesh after years of mass drug administration. State minister for health Mozibur Rahman Fakir, on Tuesday, announced the name of the districts Meherpur, Rajshahi, Dinajpur, Patuakhali and Barguna – where the prevalence rate for the parasitic disease, also known as elephantiasis, was found to be below one percent.

A Fresh Insight into Transmission of Schistosomiasis: A Misleading Tale of Biomphalaria in Lake Victoria Lake Victoria is a known hot-spot for Schistosoma mansoni, which utilises freshwater snails of the genus Biomphalaria as intermediate hosts. Different species of Biomphalaria are associated with varying parasite compatibility, affecting local transmission. It is thought that two species, B. choanomphala and B. sudanica, inhabit Lake Victoria; despite their biomedical importance, the taxonomy of these species has not been thoroughly examined.

Economics of drug discovery, development for neglected diseases One of the major reasons why some of the major healthcare problems related to neglected diseases are not addressed by large pharma companies is the lack of large markets which are enablers for ensuring adequate returns on the investments made. For example with rising costs of drug discovery reaching over $ 1.5 billion for every new drug reaching the market, there are not many drugs for neglected diseases which could attract adequate markets in value terms.

Jemma Kidd Make Up Jumping Into the Fight Against Trachoma

October 21st, 2011

By: Alanna Shaikh

Inspired by a trip to Ethiopia with ORBIS, ORBIS’s efforts to fight trachoma in Ethiopia, helping to prevent blindness.

Trachoma is not one of those NTDs that you can have for a long time and not know it, not at all. Trachoma is an extremely painful bacterial infection of the eyes. Here, I’ll quote the press release from Jemma Kidd, “Trachoma is a highly contagious bacterial infection of the eyecausing inflamed granulation on the inner surface of the lids. If left untreated, it can turn the eyelid inward, causing the eyelashes to scar the delicate cornea, resulting in agonising pain and permanent blindness.” It makes me cringe just thinking about it. Trachoma spreads rapidly from person to person, through contacts as brief as shaking hands. It’s especially common in kids under five, and can lead to blindness in adulthood.[1] Read more: Jemma Kidd Make Up Jumping Into the Fight Against Trachoma