- The World Health Organization (WHO) has validated Nepal for having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem – a milestone, as the country becomes the first in WHO’s South-East Asia Region to defeat the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness.
- In 2002, the Government of Nepal stepped up efforts to eliminate the disease with the establishment of a national trachoma programme. From 2002 to 2005, following the implementation of sustained control activities, the prevalence of active (inflammatory) trachoma fell by 40%.
- In 1996, WHO launched the WHO Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by the year 2020 (#GET2020). With other partners in the Alliance, WHO supports country implementation of the #SAFE strategy (Surgery for trichiasis, Antibiotics to clear infection, Facial cleanliness, and Environmental improvement to limit transmission).
- Trachoma, an eye disease caused by infection with the #bacterium#Chlamydia #trachomatis, is spread through contact with infective eye or nose discharges. Infection is particularly common in young children.
- Ocular or nasal discharge can be transmitted directly from person to person, or be mediated by flies which have been in contact with the eyes and noses of infected people. Transmission is associated with poor sanitation and hygiene, which increase the availability of eye discharges and encourage the breeding of flies.
- Trachoma puts more than 190 million people at risk of blindness in 41 countries. It is responsible for the blindness or visual impairment of around 1.9 million people worldwide.