Amref Health Africa says pupils can be good agents in trachoma fight who can influence teachers and parents to practise proper sanitation to prevent the spread of the disease.
Amref Mangochi district project assistant Petros Kamanga observed that trachoma remains high in the country, especially in the district due to poor hygiene practices.
He made the observation on Saturday at Thema Teacher Development Centre (TDC) in Traditional Authority (T/A) Nankumba in the district when he engaged pupils, health surveillance assistants (HSAs), dramatists and journalists in a training session on ways of preventing trachoma.
“Trachoma is a chronic eye condition caused by Chlamydia Trachomatis bacterium. It is a disease which brings a person’s social and economic life to a halt. Poor hygiene practices have propelled the spread of the disease,” he said.
Kamanga added: “But if we go round in the villages, we find that some people are still defaecating in the open even 53 years since independence. Why are we doing this? This is not on.”
While pledging to embark on other sophisticated ways of tackling the disease, Kamanga urged the pupils to be ambassadors of change in their homes and schools.
One of the pupils, Loveness Akimu, said they will teach others the benefits of practising god hygiene.
Amref Health Africa is a non-governmental organisation (NGO) implementing the project with funding from The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust of Britain.