Treatment project tackles remote area eye disease
By Anthony Stewart
Updated April 10, 2013 20:44:42
A joint Northern Territory and Federal Government program is tackling the high levels of the eye disease trachoma at the remote Arnhem Land community of Maningrida.
A team of 18 medical staff is providing antibiotics to treat and prevent trachoma to each of the community’s 3,000 residents.
One in every four people living in Maningrida was diagnosed with the eye disease in 2011.
Federal Indigenous Health Minister Warren Snowdon says the prevalence of trachoma is unacceptable.
“We are the only first world nation with endemic trachoma,” he said.
“It is something we can defeat and we are committed to defeating it.
Colin James and his children received their dose of medication today.
He says the whole community is benefiting from the program.
“Last year I went to the hospital for my eye,” he said.
“It’s very important.”
Dr Charles Douglas is the head of the trachoma program in the Territory and says the five-day visit is needed to address the high rate of the disease among Maningrida residents.
The program is part of the bid to eliminate trachoma in Australia by 2020.
First posted April 10, 2013 16:48:17