What is Trachoma?

1 min read


Recently, the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Iraq has now joined the league of 17 other countries that have eliminated trachoma

Why in news?


  • Iraq becomes the 50th country to be acknowledged by the United Nations health agency for eliminating at least one neglected tropical disease globally. 


About Trachoma:

  • It is a disease of the eye caused by infection with the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.
  • It is a public health problem in 42 countries, and is responsible for the blindness or visual impairment of about 1.9 million people.
  • Blindness from trachoma is irreversible.
  • It is a neglected tropical disease and the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness.
  • How it spreads?
    • Infection spreads through personal contact (via hands, clothes, bedding or hard surfaces) and by flies that have been in contact with discharge from the eyes or nose of an infected person.
    • With repeated episodes of infection over many years, the eyelashes may be drawn in so that they rub on the surface of the eye.
    • This causes pain and may permanently damage the cornea.
  • To eliminate trachoma as a public health problem, WHO recommends the SAFE strategy.
  • The SAFE strategy includes: Surgery to treat the blinding stage (trachomatous trichiasis); Antibiotics to clear the infection, particularly the antibiotic azithromycin; Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvement, particularly improving access to water and sanitation.
  • The 17 other countries that have eliminated trachoma are: Benin, Cambodia, China, Gambia, Ghana, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Malawi, Mali, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Togo and Vanuatu.


Q1) What is Bacteria?

Bacteria are single-celled microorganisms that belong to the domain of prokaryotes. They are among the most abundant and diverse forms of life on Earth and can be found in various environments, including soil, water, air, and inside living organisms

Source: Iraq eliminates trachoma as a public health problem.