Survey on trachoma completed

The National, Friday July 8th, 2016

THE eye care health sector has completed its largest survey ever, with a total of 19,000 people covered in a mapping project.
The Global Trachoma Mapping Project was an initiative of the National Prevention of Blindness Committee (NPBC), along with collaborative members to conduct a mapping exercise to identify the current statistics of trachoma in PNG.
According to the World Health Organisation, trachoma is a neglected tropical disease which may lead to blindness.
The NPBC called a meeting this week to discuss with all interested stakeholders in PNG and review the data collected from the project and to consider what the data meant for PNG within the context of the global efforts to eliminate trachoma and the burden of neglected tropical diseases.
President of NPBC, Dr Jambi Garap said it is important involve the inputs of collaborative organissations for the next possible steps to be taken.
“As we consider any possible ‘next steps’ it’s important to bring together representatives from the eye health sector, from the Department of Health, from donor organisations and from partners in the region who have been involved in similar projects.”
She said the GTMP was as a result of years of advocacy work by NPBC and thanked all collaborative members for their support.
Garap made special mention to the Brien Holden Vision Institute and PNG Eye Care for their hard work on implementing GTMP on the ground.
GTMP is being carried out in 50 countries around the world and PNG is one of the last countries to carry out the project.
One of the reasons it took so long to be approved in PNG was because it was thought that it was not possible and was too expensive given the country’s terrain and climatic conditions.