Trachoma eliminated in Vanuatu
15 August 2022 at 12:06 pm
Vanuatu is the first Pacific island country to eliminate trachoma as a “public health problem”.
The world’s leading infectious cause of blindness, trachoma is no longer a “public health problem” in Vanuatu, according to the World Health Organisation (WHO).
Trachoma expert Dr Anasaini Cama who works on the ground for The Fred Hollows Foundation said success was achieved through a program of detailed tracking and antibiotic availability.
“Public health teams were mobilised throughout the country’s 83 islands, mapping prevalence and administering antibiotics through the mass drug administration program,” she said.
“Vanuatu’s journey to eliminate trachoma as a public health problem demonstrates that by working in partnership at the global and local levels, we can deliver results that have a lasting impact on people’s quality of life and well-being.”
The Fred Hollows Foundation CEO Ian Wishart congratulated Vanuatu for declaring the achievement.
“Vanuatu’s validation is encouraging news for several other pacific nations which are working towards a final push to eliminate trachoma, an ancient disease that should not exist today,” he said.