Following the increasing number of trachoma cases in the Karamoja sub region, the ministry of Health has organised a mass drug administration exercise in the districts of Nabilatuk, Amudat, Nakapiripirit and Moroto.
Speaking to the media in Kampala, Odirah Nansamba, a public relations officer in the ministry, explained that a mass treatment drive against trachoma will be conducted in those areas that have persistently recorded cases despite the disease being largely defeated in many parts of the country.
“The target number is 118, 500 people. The drugs administered are Azithromycine tablets for adults, Azithromycine syrup for children and Azithromycine eye ointment for pregnant and lactating mothers,” said Nansamba.
Nansamba said that the prevalence is currently at 18% of the population, and the plan is to bring it down to 5% by the end of the 3rd round of drug administration in the third year.
She said that this has been organised together with the ministry of Health in Kenya to administer the same drugs in the districts that neighbour Karamoja.
“This decision was reached after a realisation that administering the drugs at different times was not effective because of continued interaction of these communities that results in spreading the disease to each other,” she said.
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.
Apart from giving antibiotics like in the just starting mass campaign, the ministry had embarked on conducting surgeries and hygiene campaigns to curb the disease.