The Ministry of Health is set to carry out Mass drug administration exercise in the districts of Nabilatuk, Amudat, Nakapiripirit and Moroto, this follows the increasing number of trachoma disease in the area.
According to Odiirah Nansamba, a public relations officer in the health ministry, government is targeting a total of 118,500 people.
Nansamba says that the drugs to be administered are Azithromycine tablets for adults, Azithromycine syrup for children and Azithromycine Eye ointment for pregnant ad lactating mothers.
She says the prevalence rate in Karamoja is currently at 18 percent of the population, and the plan is to bring it down to 5 percent by the end of the 3rd round of drug administration in the 3rd year.
Nansamba says that the drug administration, has been organised together with the Ministry of Health in Kenya to administer the same drugs in the districts that neighbour with Karamoja.
“This decision was reached after a realisation that administering the drugs at different times was not effective because of continued interaction of these communities that results into spreading the disease to each other,” she said.
The mass treatment comes amidst missed elimination targets. Uganda had committed to a World Health Organisation-WHO target in 2007 to have eliminated the disease that causes blindness by 2020, but the country has since moved this target to 2022.
With the planned mass medication, ministry of health says this should go down to five percent in the next three years.
Trachoma is a disease of the eye caused by infection with the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Blindness from trachoma is irreversible. It is a public health problem in 44 countries, and is responsible for the blindness or visual impairment of about 1.9 million people.
Based on March 2020 data, 137 million people live in trachoma endemic areas and are at risk of trachoma blindness.
Infection spreads through personal contact (via hands, clothes or bedding) and by flies that have been in contact with discharge from the eyes or nose of an infected person.