Quietly, in the shadow of fights against better-known diseases like Ebola, AIDS and malaria, the 20-year battle against trachoma is chalking up impressive victories. Those successes, experts say, show the wisdom of advocating and enforcing basic public health practices, rather than waiting for a miracle cure or a new vaccine. They are also a testament to the unheralded but steady generosity of Americans.
In May, the World Health Organization declared that Ghana and Nepal achieved the milestone of eliminating trachoma as a public health problem. Their success demonstrates that sustained commitment and global partnership can lead to significant reductions in neglected tropical diseases.
For more than 10 years, partners including RTI International and the Schistosomiasis Control Initiative have supported Uganda’s Ministry of Health – ensuring all schistosomiasis endemic districts in the country are covered with life-saving medication and helping to prevent future morbidity in a generation of Ugandan children. In doing so, USAID is helping ensure that a healthy Ugandan population can contribute to their economy and lead their country to prosperity.