Odiirah Nansamba, a Public Relations Officer in the Ministry says that the door to door exercise that is being conducted in the Karamoja region will be extended to border parts of Kenya. Every person above five years in the household will be given the oral drug.
The Ministry of Health will on Friday start a week-long mass
treatment drive against trachoma in areas that have persistently recorded cases
despite the disease being largely defeated in many parts of the country.
Odiirah Nansamba, a Public Relations Officer in the Ministry says that the door
to door exercise that is being conducted in the Karamoja region will be extended
to border parts of Kenya. Every person above five years in the household will
be given the oral drug.
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Targeting 118,500 people in Nabiratuk, Amudat, Nakapiripirit and Moroto, adults
will be given azithromycine tablets whereas children will be given a syrup. Lactating
and pregnant mothers will be given an eye ointment even when they may not have
symptoms associated with poor hygiene linked to sight disease.
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The mass treatment comes amidst missed elimination targets.
Uganda had committed to a World Health Organisation- WHO target in 2007 to
have eliminated the disease that causes blindness by 2020 but the country has
since moved this target to 2022 due to continued re-occurrence. Currently, in Karamoja which records the
highest number of cases, prevalence remains high at eighteen percent.
With the planned mass medication, MOH says this should go down to
five percent in the next three years.
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Earlier, Dr Gilbert Baayenda, the National Program Officer Trachoma
Control says that they had initially targeted 50 districts that had prevalence
higher than 5% but these have since reduced to those in the Karamoja region.
Trachoma is an infection of the eye caused by bacteria called
chlamydia trachomatis. It is contagious and spreads through contact with the
eyes, eyelids or throat secretions of infected people. It can also be passed on
by handling infected items such as handkerchiefs and towels.
Apart from giving antibiotics like in the just starting mass campaign, the
Ministry had embarked on conducting surgeries and hygiene campaigns to curb the
However, even as they have now set a new target of ending the
disease by 2022, it is still unclear if they will have achieved five percent or
lower prevalence in all districts around the country which is the set mark for