Meru treats thousands for trachoma after worrying statistics

Health officials in Igembe North, Meru County, distribute antibiotics to fight trachoma following a recorded high rate of spread of the eye disease.

Health officials in Igembe North, Meru County, have treated more than 158,000 residents for trachoma in a bid to prevent its spread.

Dr Titus Mutura, the area in charge of health said statistics by the Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, found some pockets in the region with an infection rate of about seven per cent.

Following the worrying statistics, the county and the disease control centre started administering antibiotics, targeting the 173,165 residents. 

“The infection rate was above the five per cent limit. This called for mass drug administration, in which all residents received treatment. After reaching 92 per cent of the population, we believe immunity is now high,” he said. 


During the exercise, three people were found with extreme cases of active trachoma and were treated and placed under observation.

The most affected areas were Kachiulu, Malaene and Antobetwe Kiongo.

The medics also taught the residents how to prevent spread of the disease by observing basic hygiene through washing their faces and wearing clean clothes. 

“The disease is caused by poor hygiene, especially if people don’t wash their faces. It can easily spread in crowded places such as markets and matatus,” Dr Mutura told the residents.

During the seven-day drug administration exercise, health workers visited homes, schools, churches and other public places.


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