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Kenya Readies To Step Up Fight Against Trachoma

AllAfrica.com reports on trachoma — a chronic bacterial infection spread by direct contact with eye, nose and throat secretions from others who are infected — in Kenya, profiling Kajiado County where the disease has reached the blinding stage in 3.4 percent of patients, “making it a serious public health problem in that region and many other similarly remote areas with little access to health care and screening.” According to the news service, “Officials with the African Medical and Research Foundation (AMREF) estimate that of every 100 people screened for trachoma in Kajiado alone, 17 will have active stage symptoms such as redness and irritation of the eyes.”

The news service presents global trachoma statistics, notes that the Alliance for Global Elimination of Trachoma has set 2020 as the target year for the eradication of trachoma, and writes, “In September, the push to eradicate [neglected tropical diseases (NTDs)] received a huge boost when” the NTD NGDO Network “announced a new collaboration that will see Kenya join the ranks of 30 African countries keen on eliminating NTDs.” Kenya is expected to unveil a plan on NTDs in November, the “first of its kind in the region,” which will “provide guidance for control and elimination of five of the NTDs in Kenya,” allAfrica.com notes (Njagi, 11/16).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.