Health Minister declares India free of infective trachoma

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Minister of Health and Family Welfare JP Nadda has declared India free from infective trachoma, terming it a momentous achievement for the country.

Nadda, who released the National Trachoma Survey Report (2014-17) on Friday, said the survey findings indicate that the active trachoma infection has been eliminated among children in all the survey districts with overall prevalence of only 0.7 per cent.

The WHO-active trachoma is considered eliminated if the prevalence of active infection among children below 10 years is less than 5 per cent, he added.

“The survey results indicate that active trachoma is no longer a public health problem in India. We have met the goal of trachoma elimination as specified by the WHO under its GET2020 programme,” the Health Minister said.

At the release of the survey report, Nadda said that it is our aim to eliminate trachomatoustrichiasis from the country. “States which still report cases of active trachoma need to develop a strategy for community-based case finding of patients of trachomatoustrichiasis (TT). These cases must be provided free entropion surgery/treatment in local hospitals,” he said.

A careful record of each case identified and its management status must be maintained as per the WHO guidelines. Also, adequate surveillance of the disease must be done all over the country in order to certify India as trachoma free (eliminated).

Monthly data on indicators of trachoma surveillance as per WHO guidelines must be regularly sent to the NPCB, Nadda urged the states.

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