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26.01.2006 Health

Ghana at the verge of eliminating trachoma

Ghana at the verge of eliminating trachoma
Accra, Jan. 26, GNA - Ghana is on the verge of eliminating trachoma, 10 years ahead of the 2020 global deadline to end the affliction that leaves its victims blind.
Vice President Alhaji Aliu Mahama, who hailed the success story of the country when he met with a team from the US-based International Trachoma Initiative (ITI), led the President Dr Jacob Kumaresan, at the Castle, Osu, said the concerted efforts of the Government and its international partners had paid off.
Vice President Mahama lauded the commitment of ITI to eradicate the poverty-related disease, which is endemic in the Northern and Upper East Region.
Dr Kumaresan expressed joy that Ghana had shown the way in the eradication of the disease, which he said was 70 per cent complete. He said: "I am here to tell you about the success story to combat trachoma in Ghana," and acclaimed the strong national commitment towards the programme, which he said was within the context of poverty alleviation.
Dr Lorenzo Martinez, Vice President of ITI, said the team would tell the donor community about the success story of Ghana. Since the inception of the control programme in 2001 more than 20 million dollars have been spent to treat some 3,000 patients, who underwent simple eye surgical procedure to prevent them from going blind while more than 12,000 people are waiting their turn.
Symptoms of the communicable disease comprise redness of the eyes, discharge and irritation and one of the commonest means of control it is by washing the face with clean water and living in good sanitary conditions.