In a major achievement, the World Health Organisation (WHO) felicitated Nepal for eliminating trachoma, a neglected tropical disease that leads to blindness, as a public heath problem, and for controlling rubella that causes serious and irreversible birth defects.
According to Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh, Regional Director World Health Organization South-East Asia, "Nepal’s remarkable achievements will positively impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people country-wide and provide an inspiring example to countries striving to eliminate trachoma and other neglected tropical diseases”.
It is to be noted that Nepal is the first country in WHO South-East Asia which has been succeded to eliminate trachoma as a public health problem.
It has also been declared as the first countries in the Region to be verified for having controlled rubella. The validation for trachoma elimination and verification of rubella control were completed in May and August respectively.
The strong immunization delivery systems guided by sensitive and actionable surveillance data are the main strategies to control any vaccine preventable disease including rubella in the Nepal.
It is to be noted that Nepal has achieved 97 per cent reduction of rubella cases as against a target of 95 per cent, in comparison to 2008.
This has been achieved two years ahead of the regional target of 2020 and one year ahead of the national target of 2019.