Close this search box.
Health World Collaboration Events nonprofit Social Affairs Latest News

Representatives gather to tackle trachoma at Pacific workshop

2 min read
Pacific workahop

Representatives from seven Pacific nations meet to plan a final push to eliminate trachoma as a public health concern in the region. 

The workshop, organised by international development organisation The Fred Hollows Foundation, will receive updates on trachoma elimination efforts in Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, Kiribati, Nauru and Tuvalu and advice from the World Health Organization (WHO) and International Trachoma Initiative. 

Trachoma is the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness. The disease thrives in areas where drinking water and sanitation is poor and is easily spread through personal contact and by flies that have been in contact with people’s eyes or noses. 

It disproportionately affects mothers and children. 

The Fred Hollows Foundation Pacific and Timor-Leste Country Program Manager Jeremy Cole said governments in the region had a strong commitment to tackling trachoma. 

 “The presence of blinding trachoma in the Pacific region has been documented for decades and in recent years Pacific Island governments, with the support of eye health and public health partners, donors and the WHO have turned their attention to trachoma control,” said Cole. 

Cole highlighted that the region recorded a major breakthrough last year when the WHO confirmed Vanuatu had eliminated trachoma as a public health concern. 

“Vanuatu is the only Pacific Island country to eliminate trachoma and its success has energised others as we make a final push to make the region free of trachoma.” 

“By working in partnership at global and local levels, we expect to see more Pacific countries achieve elimination status over the next four years,” he said. 

Cole went on to say that The Fred Hollows Foundation’s Pacific Trachoma Initiative, which was funded by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, was responsible for much of the progress in trachoma control. 

From 2014, the Initiative engaged in extensive consultation and research into trachoma, culminating in policies that empowered Pacific Island countries to adopt control measures that could be adapted to local needs. 

“Through this workshop, we aim to support Pacific Island countries by supporting local knowledge with technical guidance and a strong plan to ensure we see more countries eliminate trachoma as a public health concern in the region.” 

Website | + posts

Menchie Khairuddin is a writer Deputy Content Manager at Akolade and content producer for Third Sector News. She is passionate about social affairs specifically in mixed, multicultural heritage and not-for-profit organisations.


You Might also Like

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Related Stories

Next Up