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This support is part of the UK’s £360 million commitment made in April 2017 to provide a billion treatments for people at risk of neglected tropical diseases.
Trachoma, a neglected tropical disease (NTD), is a bacterial infection that can lead to permanent loss of sight, it affects more than 52 million people across 21 Commonwealth countries. If left untreated, the painful disease, which is the world’s main infectious cause of blindness, can cause eyelids to turn inward, or eyelashes to grow towards the eye scratching the cornea.
To help eliminate the disease, UK Aid will be providing additional support to 10 Commonwealth countries over the next two years, providing antibiotics to millions, surgery and education programmes to teach people how to stop the spread of this infection. This is according to Press Release published on the official government website.
This support is part of the UK’s £360 million commitment made in April 2017 to provide a billion treatments for people at risk of neglected tropical diseases like trachoma and guinea worm.
This further commitment will mean millions of people across the Commonwealth will receive vital sight-saving treatment and we will be on course to eliminate this ancient and avoidable disease.
This new package of UK support will:
- Enable our partners to map out where the disease remains in 138 districts in Tanzania, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Kenya;
- Help Kiribati, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Vanuatu, Nauru work with the World Health Organisation to confirm they have eliminated trachoma;
- Provide 76,000 people with surgery in Kenya, to prevent blindness and end the pain trachoma causes, and eliminate the disease as a public health problem by 2020; and
- Help Pakistan, Tanzania, and Papua New Guinea get nearer to elimination as millions receive sight-saving
Neglected tropical diseases affect over a billion people in the poorest and most marginalized communities in the world, stopping children going to school and parents going to work – costing developing economies billions of dollars every year in lost productivity and reducing overall global prosperity.