Validation of elimination of trachoma as a public health problem
In 1998, the Fifty-first World Health Assembly adopted resolution WHA51.11 on the global elimination of blinding trachoma. For equivalent targets for other neglected tropical diseases, the term “elimination as a public health problem” has been adopted. For the sake of harmonization, the terminology now used for trachoma elimination is “elimination of trachoma as a public health problem”, not “elimination of blinding trachoma”.
In 2012, Oman became the first country to be recognized as having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem. The process of assessment was referred to as a “verification” exercise. In 2015, the WHO Strategic and Technical Advisory Group on Neglected Tropical Diseases endorsed standardized processes for confirming and acknowledging success for all neglected tropical diseases targeted for eradication, elimination of transmission, or elimination as a public health problem. The process for diseases targeted for elimination as a public health problem has been defined as “validation”.
Use of these standard operating procedures
These standard operating procedures are intended to be used when a Member State wishes to request validation of national elimination of trachoma as a public health problem following implementation of the SAFE strategy,1 which comprises: surgery for trachomatous trichiasis, antibiotics to clear infection, and facial cleanliness and environmental improvement to reduce transmission.