The World Health Organization (WHO) announced today that they have validated Malawi as having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem.
“Malawi’s achievement is life-changing for millions of children who were at risk of this devastating disease. Trachoma results in painful late complications leading to sight impairment, a life-long disability which causes significant emotional and economic hardship for families. With Malawi showing the way I hope other endemic countries in southern Africa will prioritize the fight against neglected diseases that cause untold suffering to vulnerable populations,” said Dr Matshidiso Moeti, WHO Regional Director for Africa.
Malawi has been known to be endemic for trachoma since the 1980s. However, it was not until 2008 when surveys were conducted with support from WHO and Sightsavers, a non-governmental organization, that trachoma received due attention. In 2015, Malawi reported 7.6 million people were at risk of trachoma infection.
Malawi joins Gambia, Ghana, Morocco and Togo as African countries eliminating trachoma as a public health problem.
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