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Australian Indigenous HealthBulletin

Campaign set to eliminate trachoma in Indigenous communities in four years

Date posted: 26 August 2013

A campaign to cut the rates of trachoma in Indigenous communities looks set to eliminate the disease within four years.

Four years ago, 14% of Aboriginal children aged between five and nine had the condition. In 2009, the Federal Government launched a campaign to eliminate trachoma and the latest figures show rates in the Northern Territory have dropped to just 4%.

Hugh Taylor from the Indigenous Eye Health Unit says Australia is on track to eradicate trachoma within four years - several years ahead of the target envisaged by the World Health Organisation sponsored International Vision 2020 campaign.

'Other countries, developing countries, have eliminated trachoma, so it is clearly doable,' Mr Taylor said, adding that 'trachoma disappeared from main stream Australia 100 years ago'.

Mr Taylor says about 7% of Aboriginal children in Central Australia still have the condition, but the rate of change is encouraging.

'While they are still a bit higher in the centre, the change, the percentage change and the absolute change in the centre, has been outstanding,' he said.

Source: ABC News


Last updated: 26 August 2013
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