A five year initiative to accelerate efforts to free Nigeria of trachoma, which was established in honour of Queen Elizabeth, is now in its final 12 months.
Experts at a dinner organized to sum up efforts in reducing the spread of trachoma in Nigeria, highlighted the significant steps forward in the
treatment of Trachoma, which is the world’s leading most infectious cause of blindness.
TVC’s Kemi Balogun reports that experts and partners have put in significant efforts in the fight to bring trachoma to an end in Nigeria for the past four years and now the strategy is in its final twelve months, thereby creating the need to assess the gains of the strategies put in place so far.
Trachoma is an infectious disease easily spread from person to person and is most commonly found in poor, rural communities with limited access to clean water and sanitation. It belongs to a group of diseases known as neglected tropical diseases.
Repeated infection causes scar tissue to develop in the eyelid, and if left untreated the eyelashes eventually turn inward, scraping the surface of the eye. With every blink, people slowly and painfully lose their sight.
The queen Elizabeth diamond jubilee trust trachoma initiative started working in Nigeria in the year 2014 from the northern state of Katsina and
by 2017, it had expanded its work to reach people in Yobe, Bauchi, Kaduna and Sokoto.
In some cases, infections may be present in as many as 60 to 90 percent of children.
This disease is the cause of decreased vision in a little over 2 million people of which more than a million go completely blind.
Experts here highlight the positive gains achieved so far and the need to keep the fight going to complete elimination by the year 2023.
Trachoma commonly occurs in 53 countries in Africa, Asia, Central and South America.
The trust trachoma initiative has been working towards the elimination of trachoma in 12 commonwealth countries, seven of which are in Africa.