The World Well being Group (WHO) has validated Myanmar for having eradicated trachoma as a public well being drawback. Myanmar is the tenth nation worldwide and the second nation in WHO’s South-East Asia Area (after Nepal) to achieve this milestone.
“This outstanding achievement reminds us of the significance of robust political dedication to implement built-in illness elimination measures, public engagement and illness surveillance” stated Dr Mwelecele Ntuli Malecela, WHO Director, Division of Management of Uncared for Tropical Ailments. “The brand new uncared for tropical illness street map for 2021–2030, which can foster these processes globally, ought to enable us to anticipate extra such success tales from nations utilizing WHO-recommended methods.”
Trachoma is a preventable illness that causes irreversible blindness. It’s the main infectious explanation for blindness globally. It stays a public well being drawback in 44 nations and is accountable for the blindness or visible impairment of an estimated 1.9 million individuals, most of whom are extraordinarily poor.
“The burden of trachoma on affected people and communities is gigantic” stated Dr Anthony Solomon, who leads WHO’s world elimination programme. “This newest achievement gives additional proof of the effectiveness of the SAFE technique’s package deal of interventions to combat trachoma: surgical procedure for superior illness, antibiotics to clear an infection, and facial cleanliness and environmental enchancment to restrict transmission.”
Myanmar’s lengthy street to trachoma elimination
In 1964 the Ministry of Well being and Sports activities of Myanmar initiated its Trachoma Management Venture with help from WHO and the United Nations Kids’s Fund (UNICEF).
Group-based interventions comprised surgical procedure, topical antibiotic remedy and improved entry to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH), with well being schooling selling conduct change to lower transmission.
The programme additional expanded to include broader actions to stop blindness, providing accessible interventions in rural areas, the place educated well being staff labored tirelessly to serve their communities.
“Myanmar’s multi-pronged method selling entry to good hygiene infrastructure and clear water, strengthening eye care programs, offering antibiotics and fostering full neighborhood buy-in have enabled the nation to make sure that individuals of all ages can now look in direction of a trachoma-free future,” stated Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director, WHO South-East Asia Area.
In 2005, trachoma was accountable for 4% of all circumstances of blindness in Myanmar.
From 2010 to 2015, the annual interval prevalence of blindness from all causes within the complete inhabitants was very low in all areas and states, starting from 0% to 0.023%. By 2018, this prevalence dropped to 0.008%.
The Authorities of Myanmar is dedicated to proceed to implement eye care interventions, aligned with the Myanmar Well being Imaginative and prescient 2030 Technique that goals to advance the nation’s common well being protection. Additionally it is pursuing plans to enhance hygiene and sanitation by offering latrines to households and guaranteeing the provision of secure ingesting water.
Common post-validation trachoma surveys are additionally deliberate to offer post-validation surveillance.
Profitable validation of elimination of trachoma as a public well being drawback in Myanmar will encourage different well being ministries and their companions to proceed their efforts towards this painful blinding illness.