WASH, NGOs urged to join in trachoma fight in Kasungu

Kasungu: Organisations working in Water, Sanitation and hygiene (WASH) in Kasungu have been called upon to collaborate in fighting Trachoma.

Evangelical Lutheran Development Service (ELDS) made the call recently during a meeting with government officials and NGOs involved in WASH activities to lobby for their support in fighting the disease in the district.

ELDS WASH Project Coordinator, Chisomo Magelegele, said the fight against trachoma needed close collaboration among various stakeholders in the district.

We are calling for coordination in trachoma fight because Kasungu is one of 15 districts which have a lot of people at risk of getting trachoma due to poor water and sanitation practices.

“As ELDS we are only working in two Traditional Authorities of Kawamba and Chulu while the district has 30 Traditional Authorities making our effort to be inadequate, so we need more organisations in this,” said Magelegele.

Kasungu District Hospital Ophthalmic Clinical Officer Henry Chunga said the disease needed to be avoided as it leads to blindness if not treated early.

The drugs for trachoma are expensive and currently not available in the country so the only solution is facial cleanliness and environmental improvement awareness which WASH NGOs are supposed to adopt and help in other remaining TAs,” said Chunga.

Kasungu District WASH coordinator, Wales Kazonde, appreciated contributions NGOs in the district are making towards various initiatives.

It is great to work together in the health promotion agenda since government alone cannot reach out to all the citizens, he said.

Trachoma is, an eye infection caused by bacteria called Chlamydia trachomatis which comes as a result of poor sanitation and hygiene among people.

A research that was done by World Health Organization (WHO) in 2013 indicated that over 8.1 million people in 15 districts of Malawi like Salima, Mchinji, Ntchisi, Kasungu and Chikwawa people were at risk of Trachoma infection.

Source: Malawi News Agency MANA