Trachoma is an infectious eye disease that can eventually cause blindness if left untreated. Infection of the eyes with the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis usually occurs in childhood, but infected people generally do not develop severe sight problems until adulthood.
It is therefore essential that you are able to identify the early signs of the disease and treat patients appropriately in order to avoid severe complications developing later in life.
First, we will describe the infectious agents that cause trachoma, their modes of transmission and the clinical manifestations of the disease. This knowledge will enable you to identify people with symptoms, grade the signs according to a classification of severity, and decide whether you should treat patients yourself or refer them to a health centre or hospital. Then you will learn how to give health education about trachoma and its prevention in your community.