Govt rolls out immunisation against blindness in 8 districts 

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By James Muonwa

GOVERNMENT, with help of partners, has successfully rolled out an immunisation programme to fight and eliminate blinding trachoma among communities across eight districts.

The ten-day mass treatment campaign ended Wednesday in Shamva, Bindura, Rushinga, Binga, Marondera, Nyanga, Mutasa and Gweru districts.

If left untreated, the trachoma disease causes blindness.

In a statement, the Health and Child Care ministry said those enrolled on the programme were supposed to have one or two jabs administered over three to seven years.

“The mass treatment for trachoma prevents children and adults from going blind. All people aged zero (0) months and above in targeted districts will receive a single dose of medicine once or twice a year over three to seven years to treat, control and eventually eliminate the pain and burden of trachoma in our communities,” health secretary, Jasper Chimedza said in a statement.

Trachoma is caused by bacterial infection and almost always affects both eyes. Symptoms start with mild itching and irritation of eyes and eyelids and may progress to blurred vision and pain in the eyes.

The ministry is working on the programme in conjunction with SightSavers, World Vision, Basilizwi and Welterhunger Hilfe.