Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

New Fly Trap May Reduce Prevalence of Blindness from Trachoma

Academic journal article Bulletin of the World Health Organization

New Fly Trap May Reduce Prevalence of Blindness from Trachoma

Article excerpt

Home-made fly traps using old plastic bottles and faeces may significantly reduce the prevalence of trachoma, a disease that is a major cause of blindness in the developing world. Results of tests of the devices in Kenya have shown the traps can reduce household fly populations by almost half, and the numbers of cases of trachoma by more than one-third.

According to the World Health Organization, which three years ago launched a programme to eliminate trachoma by 2020, the disease has resulted in blindness in around six million people in the world. Trachoma is a bacteria-related infection that is one of the world's leading causes of blindness. Cumulative attacks by Chlamydia trachomatis result in local tissue inflammation and a sticky mucous is produced. This can lead to a tightening of the eyelid, making it bend inwards, and the eyelashes may damage the surface of the cornea. In some cases, this may lead to eventual blindness.

The latest technique, the development of which was supported by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, is based on an original idea from Professor David Morley, a retired specialist in tropical child health at the Institute of Child Health in London, and Dr Michael Elmore-Meegan of the International Community for the Relief of Starvation and Suffering (ICROSS). …

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