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Indigenous eye health was in the spotlight on Channel 7 in February 2013 when the Amoonguna community in the Northern Territory (NT) featured on the Weekend Sunrise program as part of a segment on trachoma elimination.
The community has been a part of a successful health promotion campaign in the NT, which has involved trachoma health promotion officers travelling to communities such as Amoonguna to help share the message of good hygiene and 'clean faces, strong eyes'. Amoonguna, a community 15 kms southeast of Alice Springs, has made great strides in trachoma elimination with no new cases being reported in the past five years.
The segment also includes a brief quote from Hugh Taylor, Professor of Indigenous eye health at Melbourne University, who believes that with comprehensive screening, the promotion of face washing and super-antibiotics, new cases of trachoma could be wiped out over five years (those who have the disease severely now would still develop complications later in life).
Trachoma is an infectious eye disease that can lead to blindness if left untreated. The disease, which is preventable, is still a significant public health issue in Australian Indigenous communities. Australia is the only developed country among 57 with ‘endemic blinding trachoma', a disease eradicated from most countries 100 years ago.
Source: Central Australian Aboriginal Congress, Weekend Sunrise