12 million risk being blinded

Trachoma threatens over 12 million Tanzanians and the ministry of health wants to see it gone once and for all. Photo: Sightsavers

Trachoma threatens over 12 million Tanzanians and the ministry of health wants to see it gone once and for all. Photo: Sightsavers

Over 12 million Tanzanians are at risk of contracting trachoma and the Ministry of Health wants to see the blinding disease eradicated by 2020.

Global partners, including the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, met with Ministry of Health officials in Dar today (July 27) to discuss ways of eliminating the disease once and for all.

Better data and quicker intervention has been key to reducing trachoma’s spread and further collaboration will only strengthen the organizations in the fight, meeting attendees heard.

“Over the past twelve months a total of 5563 trachiasis surgeries have been performed,” says Neema Rusibamayila, director of preventative services at the Ministry of Health.

“Moreover, through this great collaboration the country is now supporting the delivery of behavioural change initiatives in 7 districts in Tanzania in line with National Sanitation Strategy,” says Rusibamayila.

Poor hygiene and a lack of access to water are often causes of trachoma, which causes the eye lashes to turn inwards and scratch the outer eye causing extreme pain and can lead to irreversible blindness.

Report a typo: highlight the text in question and press Ctrl+Enter to report.

About the Author

Daniel Hayduk

Daniel is Dar Post’s news director. When not in the newsroom, he spends his days helping NGOs across the continent find their creative side.