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Fighting trachoma in Morocco

A protocol signed by IAPB Italy and the Ministry of Health of Morocco

The fight against trachoma in Morocco, a severe ocular disease of bacterial origin that afflicts Africa and can cause blindness, is the main objective of a cooperation protocol signed between the International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness-IAPB Italy, the Alaouite organization for the protection of the blind (OAPAM) and the Ministry of Health of Morocco.

The first agreement was signed in Rabat on 4th October 2005, but the most recent modification was signed on 11th July 2008 by Yasmina Baddou, Morocco’s Minister of Health, as part of a national plan for the eradication of blindness; on behalf of IAPB Italy, the document was signed by its President, the lawyer Giuseppe Castronovo.

This international protocol provides, on the one hand, for trachoma to be fought in five different provinces of Morocco; on the other hand, for funds to be designated for cataract surgery in an ophthalmic hospital in a poor area (called El Haouz), also through the supply of equipment to the local health system. All of this respecting the guidelines laid down by the WHO, which is implementing the Vision2020 global initiative to eliminate avoidable blindness by 2020 with the IAPB.

The battle against trachoma has been included by the Moroccan Ministry of Health in the National Action Plan for the period 2012-2016. Morocco has also strengthened its partnership with the WHO and IAPB Italy onlus. In fact, a 2013 WHO document states that the north-African country has provided for the consolidation of procedures to eradicate trachoma by means of a monitoring system. This system was activated following an assessment survey conducted in 2009, with two meetings of experts held in 2008 and 2010.

See also: “Who Report of the 17th Meeting of the Who Alliance for the Global Elimination of Blinding Trachoma, Geneva, 22–24 April 2013”

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