Environmental sanitary interventions for preventing active trachoma

Added April 10, 2013

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The role of insecticide spray as a fly control measure in reducing trachoma remains unclear. There is some evidence from two trials that insecticides are effective in reducing transmission of trachoma, but not demonstrated in another trial that also used insecticides. Health education may be effective in reducing the transmission of trachoma.

Trachoma is a major cause of avoidable blindness. It is responsible for about six million blind people worldwide, mostly in the poor communities of developing countries. One of the major strategies advocated for the control of trachoma is the application of various environmental sanitary measures to such communities. Environmental sanitation is a package of measures aimed at eliminating factors that encourage proliferation of flies and the spread of the disease. Some of these interventions include provision of water and latrines as well insecticide spray to control flies. This review assesses the evidence for the effectiveness of environmental sanitary measures on the prevalence of active trachoma in endemic areas.