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Milestone in eye health

Milestone in eye health

Officials from the Ministry of Health’s national eye health program yesterday released a report announcing that trachoma, an eye infection that can lead to blindness, is no longer a public health problem in Cambodia.

Trachoma typically affects people living in overcrowded conditions with limited access to clean water, according to the World Health Organization.

It typically first infects people during childhood, and without proper treatment, re-infections can eventually cause the victim to lose their sight in adulthood.

“We are proud that trachoma is not a public health problem in Cambodia now,” Health Minister Mam Bun Heng said yesterday.

In a study completed this year, the ministry used a sample size of 25,801 children between the ages of 1 and 9 to test trachoma’s prevalence, the ministry’s report says.

Tests found the prevalence of active trachoma to be between zero and 0.02 per cent, a steep drop from about 10 per cent in a similar study conducted in 2004.

Over the past decade, officials from the eye program have sent doctors to rural areas to advise villagers about trachoma and how to avoid contracting it, said program member Ngy Meng.

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