In a bid to eliminate trachoma, a resource book for primary school teachers has been developed to be used as reference material.
Trachoma is a disease common among school-going children because of their constant contact with dust and dirt. The disease affects human eyelids and, if not treated, can cause blindness.
The book has been developed through a project being implemented by a local non-governmental organisation (NGO) called Heart to Heart in Machinga District where the disease is prevalent.
Heart to Heart in Malawi coordinator, Dellings Phiri, said trachoma is one of the most neglected diseases in the country despite its terrible effects to the human eye.
“If not treated early, trachoma can cause blindness in people who have normal eyesight. It is, therefore, unacceptable for the country to fail to treat a disease that has one of the shortest procedures because little or no money is set aside to fight the disease,” he said.
Phiri also said they want children living in rural areas to know the causes, symptoms and preventative measures to eliminate the disease.
He said: “We want children to grow up with the knowledge that trachoma is caused by unhygienic behaviours such as open defecation and is transmitted by houseflies.”
Chinduzi Primary School head teacher, Worried Chizingamayiwe, said many parents associate the disease with witchcraft due to lack of knowledge.
The book, which has been developed by experts from Malawi Institute of Education with funding from the Korean Government, will be distributed in all primary schools in Machinga.