Nepal and Ghana are the latest to stall the world's biggest source of blindness.
In May, the World Health Organization declared that Nepal had eliminated trachoma as a public health problem, The New York Times reports.
That makes the tiny Himalayan nation the sixth country to do so; in June, Ghana became the seventh.
Trachoma is a bacterial infection that makes the eyelids swell, inverting the eyelashes so that they rake across the cornea, causing excruciating pain and eventually blindness.
Chlamydia trachomatis, the bacterium that causes trachoma, can be transmitted from one person to another: for example, by sharing a towel. But in rural areas, it is more often transmitted by flies that crawl over children’s faces and then flit back to human feces to lay their eggs.
Victims are usually first infected as toddlers, but the permanent eye damage takes decades, normally setting in after age 30. The W.H.O. recommends a four-pronged strategy to fight the disease: surgery for advanced cases; annual antibiotic doses for everyone in hard-hit areas; teaching mothers to wash their children’s faces often; and use of pit latrines, to reduce the fly population.
The effort has mostly been funded by Americans, through a combination of private foundation and government money.
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