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National Trachoma Control/Elimination Programme

For more information on research and collaboration related to this topic in Uganda, please contact the officer responsible at;

Dr. Patrick Turyaguma,
Vector Control Division (MoH),
Plot 15 Bombo Road,
P.O Box 1661, Kampala, Uganda
Email: patrick.turyaguma@gmail.com

Press Statement on Trachoma

MoH Uganda

MINISTRY OF HEALTH

 Trachoma is known to be endemic in 36 districts where about 1,000,000 children below the age of 10 years have active disease and about 10.8 million people are at risk of being infected. It is estimated that overall, 35,000 people are infected with blinding trachoma while 10,000 are already blind.

Epidemiological surveys were carried out in 2006 in 7 districts with support from Sight Savers and Lions Aid Norway using the World Health Organization (WHO) standard methodology. The results indicated that prevalence of >20% active and blinding >4% Trachoma in all the districts. With Support from partners; Envision/RTI International through USAID and Sightsavers, further surveys were scaled-up in 2007 in 48 districts in eastern, northern, western and north western Uganda.

Following these baseline surveys, in the 48 districts, 36 districts were found to have a TF prevalence of > 10%, thus qualifying for Mass Drug Administration (MDA) using Zithromax.  Trachoma impact assessment surveys have also been carried out in 18 districts and some districts have been found to have reached the threshold for surveillance while others are for sub district impact assessment.

map 4

Map showing the distribution and prevalence of Trachoma in Uganda

The current Trachoma elimination and achievement campaigns, through mass treatment with Zithromax, started in seven districts in 2007 and since then a steady scale up of districts covered with MDA from 9 districts in 2008, 11 districts in 2009 to 12 districts in 2010. Currently, all the 36 Trachoma endemic districts receive Zithromax for MDA. Recently, TRA was conducted in 8 districts in Teso sub-region. Results indicates that 4 of these district are highly suspected to be Trachoma endemic and there are plans to conduct baseline surveys in these districts’

Since 2007, a cumulative total of over 12.8 million people have received treatments with Zithromax. However, one major constraint is the lack of Tetracycline eye ointment which should have been provided by districts. Districts have found it very difficult to purchase these ointments using their meagre PHC funds. Other components of the SAFE Strategy are also being implemented. These include TT surgeries by Sightsavers and Lions Clubs International; face washing especially in schools and environmental sanitation by Ministry of Education and Sports, Local governments, communities and relevant Non-governmental Organizations.

This success story has been through the effort of the Ministry of Health’s Trachoma Elimination Program with support of the implementing partners including: The Carter Center,  The WHO, Sightsavers, The Lions Clubs International Foundation, Merck Co. Inc., and RTI/ENVISION. We also acknowledge the support of the District Local Governments; the district onchocerciasis coordinators, supervisors at all levels, and community medicine distributors; and the communities for their support and cooperation that allowed this to be achieved.

For more information contact:

The Director General Health Services,

Ministry of Health,

P.O. Box 7272,

KAMPALA,

Telephone: +256-414-340874, +256 414 231584 | Fax: 256-414-414 340877, +256 414 231 584

E-mail: dghs@infocom.co.ug | Website: www.health.go.ug

Sightsavers The Carter Center

ENvision WHO

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