Navigation Links
High levels of blindness in southern Sudan following years of war

Surveys conducted in southern Sudan, after conflict there ended in 2004, found much higher levels of blindness than anticipated. The results, published in PLoS Medicine, have major implications for the provision of health services in the region.

Sudan is the largest country in Africa and one of the poorest in the world. The southern region of the country is very remote and was devastated by a civil war that went on for nearly half a century, with only short intervals of peace.

An international team of researchers conducted a survey in May 2005 in Mankien—a district of Sudan with a total population estimated to be around 50,000. Their aim was to estimate how many people were blind or had ‘‘low vision’?and to find out the main causes. Working under very difficult conditions, the researchers selected villages to be visited at random. A house in each village visited was selected by spinning a pen in the middle of the village. The people in this house were examined and then other houses were chosen, also at random. Around 2500 people were examined. Children under five years were not included in survey. A very high rate of blindness was found?%. This is more than twice the level that would be expected, given what is known about the prevalence of blindness in other parts of rural Africa. The two most common causes of blindness and low vision were cataract and trachoma, each accounting for over one-third of cases. Trachoma, which is caused by an infection, was responsible for a greater proportion of the cases of blindness than has been found in studies in other parts of rural Africa.

In a second survey in the same district, the researchers looked specifically for cases of trachoma, both in its early stages and later when it has led to blindness. Some 3500 people were examined, of whom 2000 were children aged less than 15 years. The earliest stages of infection were very common indeed, particularly in children aged 1?, over half of whom had some s ign of infection. In adults, one in five had trichiasis caused by trachoma.

Trachoma can be passed from one person to another through contact with hands and clothes, and by flies. The disease develops gradually—while children are most susceptible to infection, they may not note its effects until adulthood, when scarring from repeated infections causes the eyelashes to turn inward (‘‘trichiasis’?. The cornea—the transparent front part of the eye—becomes damaged by the eyelashes and develops ulcers, and eventually blindness results.

The situation revealed by the researchers is particularly tragic as improved living conditions, better hygiene, and early treatment of the infection with antibiotics can prevent trachoma. Surgery for trichiasis is also very effective. The World Health Organization recommends a strategy for trachoma control known as ‘SAFE? surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness, and environmental change. The authors call for its urgent implementation in southern Sudan.

The surveys are also discussed in two ‘Perspective?articles in the same issue of PLoS Medicine. One article discusses the possibility that the methods used in these (and other) health surveys could over-estimate the level of blindness.
'"/>

Source:Public Library of Science


Related biology news :

1. New lab technique identifies high levels of pathogens in therapy pool
2. Scientists at Galileo Pharmaceuticals confirm inflammatory response linked to glucose levels
3. MERIS monitoring tracks planetary photosynthesis levels
4. High carbon dioxide levels spur Southern pines to grow more needles
5. Enzyme affects hypertension by controlling salt levels in body
6. Field tested: Grasslands wont help buffer climate change as carbon dioxide levels rise
7. Babys genes affect moms cholesterol levels
8. Males with elevated levels of testosterone lead shorter lives but have more success siring offspring
9. Salmonella bacteria use RNA to assess and adjust magnesium levels
10. Fish on acid: Hagfish cope with high levels of CO2
11. High estrogen levels associated with dementia in older men

Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:


(Date:5/9/2016)... May 9, 2016 Elevay is ... to expanding freedom for high net worth professionals seeking ... today,s globally connected world, there is still no substitute ... ever duplicate sealing your deal with a firm handshake. ... by taking advantage of citizenship via investment programs like ...
(Date:4/28/2016)... BANGALORE, India , April 28, 2016 ... subsidiary of Infosys (NYSE: INFY ), and Samsung ... global partnership that will provide end customers with a ... and payment services.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20130122/589162 ... for financial services, but it also plays a fundamental part ...
(Date:4/26/2016)... India and LONDON ... Infosys Finacle, part of EdgeVerve Systems, a product ... and Onegini today announced a partnership to integrate ... solutions.      (Logo: http://photos.prnewswire.com/prnh/20151104/283829LOGO ... to provide their customers enhanced security to access ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:5/23/2016)... and LONDON , May 23, 2016 ... Could See Frontage Boost Efficiency by 40% - Frontage ... - Frontage Enforce Quality, Compliance and Traceability Within the Bioanalytical ... with labs in the United States and ... to be deployed across its laboratory facilities. In addition to ...
(Date:5/23/2016)... ... 23, 2016 , ... Foresight Institute , a leading ... for the 2015 Foresight Institute Feynman Prizes. , These prestigious prizes, named ... for experiment and the other for theory in nanotechnology. Prof. Markus J. Buehler, ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... CA (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2016 , ... The ... 10 of its most experienced veterinary clients have treated over 100 of their own ... edge technology to provide the highest level of care for their patients. , ...
(Date:5/20/2016)... NC (PRWEB) , ... May 20, 2016 , ... Korean ... suggesting that it may offer a new way to treat the disease. Surviving Mesothelioma ... it now. , Scientists from several Korean institutions based their mesothelioma study on ...
Breaking Biology Technology: