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The aim of the Trachoma Program is to eliminate blinding trachoma from endemic communities.
The World Health Organisation recommends a multi-faceted intervention strategy known as SAFE (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial (and hand) cleanliness and Environmental improvement) involving:
- Surgery for trichiasis - eye lid surgery is carried out to prevent corneal opacity within the pupillary margin that results from entropion (in-turning) of the eye lashes to the extent they scratch and permanently damage the cornea
- Antibiotics - active Chlamydia trachomatis infection is treated with antibiotics
- Facial cleanliness - it is well demonstrated that children with clean faces have less trachoma infections. Health promotion programs are implemented to educate communities about trachoma, the importance of personal hygiene and practical advice on facial cleanliness
- Environmental improvements - it is important to reduce overcrowding and improve water and sanitation facilities.
The Trachoma Program delivers the SAFE strategy through a network of organisations and services who undertake screening, community treatment, health promotion, training and community worker education in the NT.
To contact the program see CDC contacts.
The Trachoma Program collaborates with the following health organisations and services.
- Indigenous Eye Health Unit: Melbourne University
- Fred Hollows Foundation
- Jimmy Little Foundation
- World Health Organization
- Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health: Australian Government Department of Health
- The Kirby Institute: The University of New South Wales
- Brien Holden Vision Institute (International Centre for Eye Care Education)
- Central Australian Aboriginal Congress
- Katherine West Health Board
- Sunrise Health Service.
Go to CDC resources and publications.