A first-ever one-day Trachoma Facial Cleanliness and Environmental Improvement (F&E) Community volunteer training for the Central Islands Province under the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) Programme, Ministry of Health and Medical Services (MHMS), was successfully completed on August 22, 2023.
The training aims to expand the information about trachoma by focusing on clean face (personal hygiene) and environmental improvement (E) with a focus on “improved sanitation” through F&E intervention.
Community participants’ are; former health workers, former teachers, church leaders, youth leaders and community elder.
Mr. Oliver Sokana, Neglected Tropical Diseases Programme Manager, said the key objectives of the training are to ensure community volunteers are equipped with accurate information on F&E, community volunteers are able to mobilise F&E messages to community members, and the community takes ownership of trachoma prevention activities.
Sokana explained that trachoma is an infectious cause of blindness and is transmitted through direct contact with an infected person and/or flies.
“Flies love to feed on dirty faces and travel with the trachoma infection to another person. This happens because people in communities do not have clear knowledge about how the disease can spread. So the key message for the training is to help volunteers receive those prevention messages to reduce trachoma as a public health problem”, said Sokana.
He added the most important message. Keeping the face clean at all times is key to preventing trachoma. It is the role of everyone to prevent trachoma from happening.
Meanwhile, similar training will be provided in Guadalcanal, Western, and Choiseul Provinces.
The program is funded by DFAT through the partnership of the Fred Hollows Found – Australia and the Ministry of Health Solomon Islands.