Trachoma

Little black boy getting eyedrops from his mother

Photo from Flickr

Trachoma is one of the world’s leading causes of preventable blindness, having affected an estimated 6 million people. According to Unilever, trachoma usually occurs in childhood, with children showing prevalence rates of 60-90%. The disease takes years to progress as repeated infections cause scarring on the inside of the eyelid. The scarring eventually causes the eyelashes to turn in, causing rubbing on the cornea. As a result, the cornea becomes scarred and eventually leads to severe vision loss and blindness.
A trial conducted by Emerson in 2004 showed that a simple sanitation intervention, such as providing a pit latrine, is effective in preventing trachoma, as it prevents open defecation, which is the main breeding ground for trachoma fly vector Musca sorbeans. Improved disposal of waste can help prevent this blinding disease.

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