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Infectious Disorders - Drug Targets


ISSN (Print): 1871-5265
ISSN (Online): 2212-3989

Current Status of Trachoma Elimination in Australia: Making Trachoma a History by 2020

Author(s): Jenny Jung, Syed Rahman, Harunor Rashid and Gulam Khandaker

Volume 14, Issue 3, 2014

Page: [219 - 222] Pages: 4

DOI: 10.2174/1871526515999150320160246

Price: $65


Trachoma is one of the major causes of preventable blindness worldwide. In Australia it is solely a disease of Aboriginal people. Trachoma in non-indigenous Australians has been eradicated earlier this century, however, is still prevalent among Aboriginal communities. Poor living condition, lack of access to water supply and sanitation, living in a crowded and unhealthy environment are the main causes of trachoma in Indigenous Australians. The World Health Organization (WHO) has initiated Global Alliance for the Elimination of Trachoma by the year 2020 (GET2020). The alliance has adopted the “SAFE” (Surgery, Antibiotic distribution, Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvements) strategy to eliminate trachoma in endemic countries. In Australia, the National Trachoma Surveillance and Reporting Unit (NTSRU) was established in 2006 and ever since has been providing high quality surveillance data on national trachoma burden. In 2009, the Australian Government made a commitment investment of $16 million over a 4-year period to eliminate trachoma from Australia. Today, promising success has been achieved in surveillance and management of trachoma using the SAFE strategy. But the ultimate elimination of the disease would require a long-term political commitment founded, inter alia, on multi-sectoral collaboration, targeted research, and community engagement.

Keywords: Blindness, indigenous Australians, ‘SAFE’, trachoma.

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