India declared free of contagious eye infection trachoma
Indian Health Minister Jagat Prakash Nadda made the announcement while releasing National trachoma Survey Report (2014-17) in Delhi, terming it as "a momentous achievement."
The minister said the survey findings indicate that the active trachoma infection has been eliminated among children in all the survey districts with overall prevalence of 0.7 percent.
"This is much below the elimination criteria of infective trachoma as defined by the World Health Organisation," he said.
Nadda said trachoma has been eliminated due to efforts that included provision of antibiotic eye drops, personal hygiene, availability of safe water and improved environmental sanitation etc.
Trachoma is common in children till nine years of age. It is caused by the bacterial agent chlamydia trachomatis and usually spread due to flies, poor hygiene, crowded places, lack of water, and environmental factors such as humidity. ■