Ethiopia to Conduct Assessment on Trachoma to Meet Elimination Date

Local NEWS

Assessment that enables to evaluate Ethiopia’s Trachoma Program which aims at invigorating the eradication of trachoma will be conducted this month, Ministry of Health disclosed.

Neglected Tropical Diseases Team Leader at the Ministry, Nebiyou Negussu told ENA that the assessment will identify methods, ways as well as actions the country should apply to eliminate blindness caused trachoma by 2020.

According to him, the assessment will be broad that will look into the depth of drug resistance infection and review of environmental hygiene system.

“The fifteen days assessment will be conducted in ten selected woredas vulnerable to the disease, so that if we well understand the situation of the disease in this selected woredas we can understand the situation in other parts of the country”, the team leader said.

Nebiyou pointed out that the assessment is different from other kinds of assessments that have been conducted on trachoma.

“After the results of the assessment, we will be able to look on our Trachoma Program, the shortfalls on implementation and we will find out other things we should do in the future to fully eliminate the disease”, the team leader elaborated.

The Ministry of Health will conduct the assessment in collaboration with World Health Organization.

Nebiyou said the government has been preventing and controlling the disease in collaboration with partners through SAFE (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial wash and Environmental hygiene) Strategy.

The government has allocated over 2 million USD for the surgery initiative, it was learned.
The ministry has managed to mobilize support to implement mass drug administration (MDA) in all trachoma endemic districts. So far more than 65 million people were treated with MDA, he added.

One of the partners of the ministry, Carter Center, is engaged in fighting four neglected tropical disease in Ethiopia, including trachoma since 1998.

Country Representative Dr. Zerihun Tadesse said the center started providing assistance in combating trachoma for the past ten years.

In this regard, he said, “we are supporting efforts to eliminate trachoma in Amhara Regional State which is affected very much by the disease. Through the hard work we have done in the last ten years in 167 woredas some 36 have achieved the criteria set by WHO as they can reduce its transmission”, according to the Country Representative.

The Trachoma Program and Strategy is among the oldest Neglected Tropical Disease programs and strategies in Ethiopia and the strategy for control started in 2006/2007.