The small West African nation Gambia formally became the second African country to eliminate Trachoma in 2021. Trachoma is one of the leading causes of blindness. The Republic of Ghana became the first African country to eliminate Trachoma in the 2018.

Trachoma: A bacterial eye infection that damages the eye lids. It causes the eye lashes to turn inwards. It is one of the Neglected Tropical Diseases. It leads to irreversible vision losses and blindness if not corrected with surgery.

It is caused by bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.

Trachoma in Africa

The number of people at risk from the disease decreased by more than 90% since 2000. However, more than forty countries in Africa are still affected by Trachoma.

Success of Gambia

Gambia eliminated Trachoma after 40 years of rigorous works by Non-Governmental Organisation, health workers and local communities. A network of eye units were created with the help of NGOs. These units identified people with Trachoma. Thousands of heath volunteers were trained to go door-to-door to find people with the disease.

Backdrop

The WHO formally launched a roadmap of Global Targets to tackle 20 Neglected Tropical Diseases including Trachoma. The roadmap aims to eliminate all the 20 diseases by 2030.

Trachoma in India

In 2017, India free from Trachoma. According to the National Trachoma Survey Report, the overall prevalence of Trachoma was 0.7 per cent. This is much below the elimination criteria defined by the WHO.

What causes Trachoma?

It is caused due to poor environmental and personal hygiene. This mainly occurs when the person faces inadequate access to water and sanitation.

India and Gambia

The Bilateral Trade between India and Ghana amounted to US$ 818 million in FY 2010-11 and is expected to be worth US$ 1 billion by 2013. Ghana imports automobiles and buses from India and companies like Tata Motors and Ashok Leyland have a significant presence in the country.

  • Ghanaian exports to India includes gold, cocoa and timber.
  • Indian exports to Ghana includes pharmaceuticals, agricultural machinery, electrical equipment, plastics, steel and cement.

As of April-June 2019 Both countries trade stood at US$ 1009 million.

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