25 September 2017
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Saturday, 09 September 2017 08:20

BICO on trachoma mass drug administration in Mangochi

Written by  Marvelous Zinga

Mangochi, September 8, 2017: Blantyre Institute of Community Outreach (BICO) announced on Thursday that it will commence a mass drug administration of Trachoma disease across Mangochi district on 18 September this year.

BICO Senior Programmes Manager David Chinyanya made the announcement during a District Executive Committee (DEC) meeting held at Mangochi Town Council Hall.

He disclosed that the exercise will reach out to more than one million people in the district.

According to Chinyanya, the figures are based on a summary of the district’s pre-trachoma mass drug administration (MDA) census results of August 2017 from the five zones of Chilipa, Makanjira, Mangochi, Monkey Bay and Namwera.

“Overall, trachoma’s average prevalence among children between 1-9 years old was at 7.3 percent but in Traditional Authority Makanjira alone it was 9.4 percent," Chinyanya said. 

He added that everyone is supposed to take the drug.

“For children less than 6 months will get two tubes of the drug, those between 6 - 59 months will get POS syrup, while those from 59 months - 75 years administration of tablets will be based on height,"  Chinyanya explained.

Trachoma, is a disease of the eye caused by bacterium infection and responsible for the blindness or visual impairment of people who live in trachoma endemic areas.

According to Chinyanya, the disease starts due to poor sanitation and hygiene and it is more common in areas where there is inadequate water supply.

He observed that the only way the country could achieve the main goal of Trachoma Elimination by 2018 in line with the Framework of the 2020 Vision was to work together at all levels.

The Trachoma Initiative is a 5-year government project (2014 to 2018) funded by the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust Fund.

In Malawi, the project is being implemented in Mchinji, Ntcheu, Mangochi, Machinga, Chikwawa, Nsanje, Dowa, Zomba and Dedza.

Five partners BICO, Water Aid, Amref Health Africa and Sight Savers are implementers of the project.

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