Kaoma leads in trachoma cases in Western Province

David Kasongole
David Kasongole

Kaoma District has recorded a high prevalence rate of 37.2 per cent of an eye disease which causes blindness called trachoma in Western Province.

Lewanika General Hospital Consultant Eye Specialist, David Kasongole, says the prevalence rate of 37.2 per cent in Kaoma District is way above the acceptable public health standards.

Dr Kasongole, who was speaking in an interview during the on-going Mobile Hospital exercise in Kaoma’s Mangango Constituency, said trachoma is not a public health concern if the prevalence rate is 10 per cent or lower.

He said from 2012, the Ministry of Health has made efforts to combat the disease with the mass drug administration of Azithromax – an antibiotic used in the treatment of trachoma.

Dr Kasongole said trachoma, which is caused by house flies and poor hygiene, has become hyper-endemic to Kaoma and other areas of Western Province like Kalabo, Lukulu and Shangombo districts.

He called for improved sanitation as well as increased sensitization on trachoma and urged people to avoid using herbs but instead seek appropriate medical interventions from health facilities.

And Mangango Member of Parliament, who is also Chiefs and Traditional Affairs Deputy Minister, Robert Chiseke, commended the Mobile Hospital team for its work and called for an  extended  outreach programme to far-flung areas so that more people benefit from their services.