World Health Organization (WHO) recognised Iraq becomes 18th country to eliminate Trachoma

Iraq becomes the 18th country to eliminate Trachoma Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General congratulated the Iranian government for eliminating trachoma making it t the fifth country in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region to achieve this milestone. In the press release he said that “The success of Iraq’s national trachoma programme has shown what can be achieved with national leadership and collaboration”, said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General. “Freedom from trachoma will positively impact the lives of the most vulnerable populations now and in the future”. Iraq started its campaigns with a national trachoma programme in 2012, where a trachoma surveillance system was developed to detect and manage cases within secondary and tertiary eye care facilities, as well as through school pre-enrolment and school eye screening programmes conducted in collaboration with the Ministry of Education.  Dr Ahmed Al-Mandhari, WHO Regional Director for the Eastern Mediterranean said that this is a remarkable achievement, and it illustrates that with dedication countries can achieve success in eliminating diseases, even under challenging circumstances. Iraq’s success in eliminating trachoma is also a true demonstration of our regional vision of Health for All by All.

WHO added Iraq as a trachoma eliminator?

At present, Iraq became the 17th country to eliminate trachoma including  Benin, Cambodia, China, Gambia, Ghana, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Togo and Vanuatu. Secondly, Iraq has also become 50th country to be acknowledged by WHO for eliminating at least one neglected tropical disease (NTD), globally, marking a 100-country target set for 2030 in the WHO road map for neglected tropical diseases. To date, Trachoma is endemic in six countries in WHO’s Eastern Mediterranean Region, where the number had decreased from 39 million in 2013 to 6.9 million as of April 2023. In an effort to eliminate trachoma as a public health issue, the World Health Organization (WHO), This strategy includes several key components: First, there’s Surgery to help those who have severe trachoma. Second, Antibiotics, like a medicine called azithromycin, are used to clear the infection. Third, it’s important to keep faces clean and improve the environment, especially by getting better access to water and toilets.

Which country eliminated trachoma?

WHO has validated Benin and Mali who eliminated trachoma completely

Is trachoma a communicable disease?

Trachoma is contagious, spreading through contact with the eyes, eyelids, and nose or throat secretions of infected people. It can also be passed on by handling infected items, such as handkerchiefs.