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Despite ongoing civil unrest and instability, Yemen’s Trachoma Elimination Programme launched its first large-scale treatment campaign, targeting approximately 450 000 people in areas at high risk for the disease. Trachoma is the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness and Yemen has one of the highest prevalence levels in the Middle East.
The campaign, from 2‒4 May, was conducted by trained health workers and volunteers who also distributed WHO-supplied facial kits, comprising face towel and soap, to encourage hygiene and facial cleanliness. Yemen completed a series of trachoma surveys under the Global Trachoma Mapping Project from 2013 to 2015, covering 70 districts across the country. The surveys determined that more than 2.7 million people in 30 districts require public-health interventions to address transmission of the bacteria that cause trachoma and its associated morbidity. WHO recommends implementation of the SAFE strategy (surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness and environmental improvement) to achieve elimination of the disease as a public-health problem … (WHO, May 8, 2018).