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Table of Contents   
LETTER TO THE EDITOR  
Year : 2017  |  Volume : 10  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 1366-1367
Fast-tracking efforts to accomplish the global elimination of trachoma by 2020


Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu, India

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Date of Web Publication6-Nov-2017
 

How to cite this article:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Fast-tracking efforts to accomplish the global elimination of trachoma by 2020. Ann Trop Med Public Health 2017;10:1366-7

How to cite this URL:
Shrivastava SR, Shrivastava PS, Ramasamy J. Fast-tracking efforts to accomplish the global elimination of trachoma by 2020. Ann Trop Med Public Health [serial online] 2017 [cited 2019 Dec 11];10:1366-7. Available from: http://www.atmph.org/text.asp?2017/10/5/1366/196620


Dear Sir,

Globally, trachoma has been ranked as the most frequent infectious cause of blindness and is caused by infection with Chlamydia trachomatis.[1] The recent global estimates suggest that the disease is hyperendemic in some of the poorest and rural settings of more than 50 nations, exposing more than 230 million people with the potential risk of the disease, of whom about 1.8 million are visually impaired.[1],[2] Furthermore, close to 28% of the visually impaired people are irreversibly blind, and it is a major cause of health concern for the program managers.[1] Even though, the disease has been reported across different regions, African region is the worst affected, followed by Asia.[1],[2]

In addition, the disease, its associated complications, reduced productivity, and sickness absenteeism together result in an enormous financial burden up to US$ 8 billion.[1]

The infection is often first identified in infancy and under 5 age group children (prevalence may reach up to 90% in endemic regions), with its incidence and duration of illness showing a declining trend as the age advances.[2],[3] In order to ascertain the intensity of transmission, it is important to identify the age at which people are blinded from the disease in the community.[1],[3]

In addition, more often than not, family is the principal unit of transmission, and the disease is more common among females (in contrast to males) owing to their close contacts with the infected children.[3]

A wide range of risk factors like poor hygiene, literacy status of parents, overcrowding, number of children within the family, poor living standards, waste disposal mechanism, inadequate water supply, frequency of face wash, the habit of latrine utilization, and poor sanitation facilities, have been identified which significantly augments the risk of the transmission of the disease.[1],[3],[4] There is a great need to address the identified risk factors in order to ensure that the disease no longer remains a global public health concern by the year 2020.[1],[5]

Further, most of the endemic nation has aimed for the elimination by banking on the globally approved SAFE strategy, comprising of four components, namely surgical corrections to treat the complications which can lead to blindness, organizing mass drug administration of antibiotics to treat the infection, ensuring facial cleanliness, and improving environment-related determinants.[1],[5] The encouraging sign is that seven nations have already accomplished elimination goals, and even a significant rise in the number of surgical procedures (for the prevention of irreversible blindness) and number of people treated with antibiotics has been observed.[1] In addition, there is a significant need to strengthen the national capacity through epidemiological assessment, improving monitoring and surveillance activities, by performing project evaluation and mobilizing resources for the implementation of planned strategies.[1],[2],[4] Nevertheless, in order to ensure sustainable improvement, all the concerned sectors should work in a coordinated manner to improve the sanitation facilities and even enhance the overall living conditions of the affected communities.[1],[4]

To conclude, close to 2 decades have passed since it was decided to eliminate trachoma as a public health concern across the globe. However, even now it remains a major problem across many nations and hence there is an indispensable need to implement the standardized measures and ensure socioeconomic development.

Acknowledgement

SRS contributed in the conception or design of the work, drafting of the work, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

PSS contributed in the literature review, revision of the manuscript for important intellectual content, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

JR contributed in revising the draft, approval of the final version of the manuscript, and agreed for all aspects of the work.

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
   References Top

1.
World Health Organization. Trachoma-Fact sheet No. 382; 2015. Available from: http://who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs382/en/. [LastAccessed 2016 June 4].  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Sharifi-Rad J, Fallah F. Trachoma prevalence in rural areas of eastern Iran. New Microbes New Infect 2016;11:82-3.  Back to cited text no. 2
[PUBMED]    
3.
Nigusie A, Berhe R, Gedefaw M. Prevalence and associated factors of active trachoma among childeren aged 1-9 years in rural communities of Gonji Kolella district, West Gojjam zone, North West Ethiopia. BMC Res Notes 2015;8:641.  Back to cited text no. 3
[PUBMED]    
4.
Pant BP, Bhatta RC, Chaudhary JS, Awasthi S, Mishra S, Sharma S, et al. Control of trachoma from Achham district, Nepal: A cross-sectional study from the Nepal National Trachoma Program. PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2016;10:e0004462.  Back to cited text no. 4
[PUBMED]    
5.
Mpyet C, Kello AB, Solomon AW. Global elimination of trachoma by 2020: A work in progress. Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2015;22:148-50.  Back to cited text no. 5
[PUBMED]    

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Correspondence Address:
Saurabh RamBihariLal Shrivastava
Department of Community Medicine, Shri Sathya Sai Medical College and Research Institute, 3rd Floor, Ammapettai Village, Thiruporur Guduvancherry Main Road, Sembakkam Post, Kancheepuram, Tamil Nadu
India
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1755-6783.196620

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