Trachoma occurred to be a critical healthcare issue for the world’s population nowadays. It is among the leading causes of total and preventable blindness in 55 countries all over the world. Almost 85 million people who mainly live in regions with contaminated water and poor access to decent healthcare services have trachoma. Morocco started to beat the alarm in the 1990s. At that time, about 5% of the general public suffered from this disease, which resulted in hundreds of thousands of people who required treatment.
As a consequence, the National Blindness Control Program was implemented to prevent and eliminate this health issue under the SAFE strategy (“surgery, antibiotics, face washing, and environmental change”) (Levine, 2007, p. 73). In several years, the number of children under 10 who have trachoma reduced to 1%, which is a great achievement. Moreover, the intervention might improve health service delivery even for a range of other diseases.
Trachoma control in Morocco was tightly connected with the changes in people’s quality of life. As this disease was rapidly transmitted in the regions with poor hygiene, its improvement was of the priority. People received health education, which allowed them to get to know how to maintain a healthy way of life. Thus, they got to know how various illnesses can be prevented and treated. Access to adequate water also allowed to avoid helminths, infections, and problems with the gastrointestinal tract.
Facial cleanliness was likely to reduce issues with the skin. As trachoma was treated with the help of antibiotics, it could help to cope with other diseases that require such medication. Finally, during surgeries and rehabilitation period, patients were likely to improve their overall health situation. Trachoma control was entailed by economic development that allowed people to improve their living conditions and get better access to healthcare services. The same positive alterations were likely to be observed not only in Morocco but also in other countries that applied SAFE.
Implementation of the Program in Ethiopia
Today, Ethiopia is claimed to be the country with the highest rates of people who suffer from trachoma. However, there is a great chance that such an adverse situation will face a positive change with time as the SAFE strategy was initiated in this region several years ago. Even though the problem was not solved in 10 years, some improvement can be observed.
The additional funding was provided to support SAFE, and the Carter Center is working on the prevention of this disease in Ethiopia and five other countries. As a result, several surveys were conducted to access the situation in the country and develop a plan of action. The entire at-risk population in the most affected region of Ethiopia received access to the treatment discussed under the SAFE strategy.
More than 40,000 trichiasis surgeries were performed just in 2014 while their total amount is ten times greater. Adults and children got antibiotics, and special medication was provided for pregnant women. The Carter Center and the Amhara Regional Health Bureau cooperate to improve the health situation in the country and construct household latrines. They also educate people of all ages on health and hygiene (The Carter Center, 2016).
Thus, it can be concluded that the implementation of the National Blindness Control Program can be successfully implemented in Ethiopia. Still, it should be taken into consideration that the targeted goal cannot be achieved within a short period, and numerous interventions will be needed to enhance the living conditions, cure the population and teach people how to stay healthy.
Levine, R. (2007). Case studies in global health: Millions saved. Sudbury, MA: Jones & Bartlett Publishers.
The Carter Center. (2016). Fighting disease: Ethiopia. Web.