Trachoma is eliminated from Nepal
Trachoma is an eye disease that affects the eye lids of Human beings. Trachoma is caused by a bacteria called “Chlamydia Trachomatis”. The inner parts of the lids becomes rough(Follicles) due to the infection caused by the bacteria. The rough eye lid leads to cicatrization i.e. it causes scarring in the back of the eye lids. The scar leads to contraction, the eye lids eventually turns inwards causing the eye lashes to rub the black portion of the eye ball i.e also known as Cornea. Regular rub from the inward turned lashes leads to Corneal Ulcer which then forms scarring on the Cornea. Thus the person becomes blind.
But it is not an easy process and it takes a long period of time for someone to become blind due to Trachoma. Main factor that cause trachoma to happen is Poor Sanitation and Crowded Living Conditions. Not taking baths, Not washing face and hands, Lack of clean water, Lack of toilets, Children with dirty faces and flies, are the predisposing factors. People living close to animals like buffalo, cow etc. are in the risk of trachoma. Flies carry bacteria from the animals waste to the humans. The direct infection happens from the discharge of eye and nose of an infected person.
Trachoma belongs to the group Neglected Tropical Diseases(NTD). WHO recommends a strategic method to prevent and cure at early stages of Trachoma Known as “SAFE“. “E” Means environmental sanitation. If the environment is dirty, it is home for bacterias to grow. The vector is house fly so environment sanitation helps to keep flies away thus preventing from the infection.
“F” stands for Facial Cleanliness. If the face is dirty with discharge all over the face, it attracts the flies. The fly thus transfers the bacteria to the eye. This mostly happens in children which cause to happen Trachoma.
“A” stands for antibiotics. Oral Antibiotics of 20mg/kg is given to the villagers having prevalance of trachoma. In context of Nepal, the medicine was distributed by Nepal Government and was given to people by health persons of the health post. Oral Azithromycin was given. Antibiotics help to stop the active infection of the bacteria. Tetracycline Eye Ointment for twice daily to six weeks was also given to those with Trachomatous Follicles.
“S” stands for surgery of Trachomatous Trichiasis. The inward turned lashes is turned out by the help of surgery of the eye lid.
Baseline Survey, Surveillence Survey, Impact Survey and Trachoma elimination survey respectively were performed in Nepal. The first ever blindness survey done only in Nepal on 1981, showed Trachoma as Second leading preventable cause of Blindness. Western part of Nepal was more affected. Since the establishment of different eye hospitals in nepal, the trachoma gradually reduced.
On the Final trachoma elimination survey done in 2017-2018 in different districts of Nepal, the data from Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh showed that Trachoma is finally eliminated from Nepal. Dossier documenting elimination of trachoma as a public health problem was submitted to Ministry of Health today (14th March, 2018) says “Nepal Netra Jyoti Sangh’s” Official page on Facebook.