Over 30000 Still Affected By Trachoma In Karamoja

There are more than 30,000 cases of trachoma in Karamoja region, despite the intense medical intervention to fight the disease. Medics blame the problem to the difficult terrain, inadequate supply of drugs and limited funds.

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Statistics at the Moroto Referral Hospital show that 30,000 of 50,000 trachoma patients identified by the health ministry are yet to receive treatment.

Charles Pario, the in-charge of the eye department at Moroto Referral hospital says the fight against trachoma in the sub region is still a huge challenge.

He attributes this to some cultural practices, insufficient funding and poor infrastructure.

Pario however, says they have managed to reduce the prevalence of the disease to between 20 and 30 percent prevalence in most districts in the sub region.

He attributes the achievement to effective sensitization and decision by patient to visit health centers for treatment.

Dr. James Lemukol, the Napak District Health Officer says trachoma remains an issue that is devastating the community. He explains that despite the fact that the prevalence of the disease has reduced, the infection is still endemic.

Trachoma- a contagious bacterial infection affects the conjunctiva covering of the eye, the cornea, and the eyelids.

Trachoma is a preventable disease of the eye affecting the poor especially in the areas that are dry with limited access to clean water, poor sanitation and little social economic development.

In November 2012, government disclosed a severe outbreak of trachoma in Karamoja with at least 50,000 people in dire need of urgent surgery to prevent blindness. As a result, Sarah Opendi, the State Minister of Primary Health Care launched a campaign to eliminate the disease.

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