Saudi Arabia eliminates trachoma as a public health problem

18 Feb, 2022
2 min read

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been officially validated by the World Health Organization (WHO) for eliminating trachoma as a public health problem.

Saudi Arabia is the 12th country to achieve this milestone globally and the fourth country in the WHO Eastern Mediterranean Region to do so. 

Trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness, was successfully eliminated in the country alongside efforts to integrate trachoma interventions into its national eye care programme. Furthermore, increased cross-ministerial collaboration between the Ministry of Health, Ministry of Education and of Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, helped to improve health education and environmental determinants of health.  

“The elimination of trachoma as a public health problem in Saudi Arabia further emphasises what can be achieved with strong country-leadership and cross-sectoral approaches to integrate trachoma into routine health services. It demonstrates what can be achieved if we implement the new WHO road map for NTDs. ICTC congratulates the government of Saudi Arabia for this significant achievement”.
Dr Angelia Sanders, Chair, ICTC

Launched in January 2021, Ending the neglect to attain the Sustainable Development Goals: a road map for neglected tropical diseases, targets trachoma for global elimination by 2030.

Although 44 countries are known to require interventions for trachoma, the number of people at risk of trachoma has reduced by 91% from 1.5 billion in 2002 to 136.2 million in 2021, including a reduction of people in the WHO EMR from 39 million in 2013 to 11.3 million in May 2021.

Read more at WHO

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