Trachoma: Progress and Promise
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645


Tanzania was among the first countries to launch a trachoma control program with support from the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) using surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness, and environmental improvement (SAFE) strategy with azithromycin. More than one million children less than 10 years of age in Tanzania have active disease and an estimated 54,000 people have trichiasis. Since 2000, Tanzania has implemented major health sector reform that have been carried out in three phases in 114 districts. A key aspect of the reform process is the policy of developing locally distributed essential health packages that then serve as the basis of the comprehensive council health plan. In 2002, the Tanzania Ministry of Health in collaboration with the ITI, the World Bank, and the office of the President embarked on a program of information for districts where trachoma is endemic but where no control program has been launched. Clear goals for the trachoma control program have been reviewed and discussed by the districts and as a result trachoma control was integrated into the comprehensive council health plans for 2003. This is expected to expand in 2004 and 2005. This work is presented as a model for the support and integration of disease-specific control efforts into the primary health care system.


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  1. United Nations Development Programme, Human Development Report, 2003. New York: Oxford University Press.
  2. National Bureau of Statistics, 2003. Tanzania 2002 Population and Housing Census. General report January 2003.
  3. Tanzania Ministry of Health, 2002. National Health Policy Revised.
  4. Ministry of Health, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, 2002. Health Sector Reform Program of Work 1999–2002.
  5. Ministry of Health, Tanzania
  6. Tanzania Poverty Reduction Strategy Paper, October 2000.
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  8. Comprehensive Council Health Plans, 2003.
  9. President’s Office – Regional Administration and Local Government, 2003. Comprehensive Council Health Plans for 20 Trachoma Endemic Districts. January 2003
  10. Tanzania Ministry of Health - Second Health Sector Strategic Plan 2003–2006. Reforms Towards Delivering Quality Health Services and Client Satisfaction. April 2003.

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  • Received : 30 Jul 2003
  • Accepted : 19 Aug 2003
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