In 2023, the partnership between the government of Canada and the Pan American Health Organization (PAHO) launched an initiative to improve the health of communities, women, and children by eliminating trachoma as a public health problem in the Region of the Americas.
Within the framework of this initiative, activities will be supported in countries such as El Salvador, focused on populations whose socioeconomic, demographic, environmental and epidemiological conditions lead to the suspicion that trachoma may be a public health problem and require surveillance activities.
The country has advanced in the preparation of a rapid assessment protocol on trachoma. To this end, the national commission for this project has been established. It will include representatives of different departments of the Ministry of Health:
- Epidemiology Directorate
- Infectious Diseases Office
- First Level of Care
- Eye Health
- Salvadoran Social Security Institute, among other important actors.
Ángel Álvarez, Communicable Diseases Advisor at PAHO El Salvador said the country will actively search for trachoma in prioritized communities in the departments of Ahuachapán, La Libertad, La Paz, Santa Ana, Sonsonate and Usulután. Once populations affected by this disease are determined, the necessary measures will be implemented.
In the meantime, a schedule of meetings has been established for the development and consolidation of the protocol to be subsequently submitted for evaluation by the authorities of the National Health Research Ethics Committee of El Salvador.
The Trachoma initiative is aligned with the policy and PAHO’sinitiative that seeks to eliminate more than 30 communicable diseases and related conditions by 2030 (Elimination Initiative), with a common integrated and sustainable approach, promoting links and synergies within the health system and with other sectors.