WHO: Cambodia, Laos eliminate trachoma eye disease hinh anh 1Mother and child from Cambodia (Source: VNA)
Hanoi (VNA) - The World Health Organisation (WHO) announced on September 19 that Cambodia and Laos have eliminated trachoma.

Shin Young-soo, WHO regional director for the Western Pacific, congratulated the two Southeast Asian countries for the effort, saying in a news statement that the two have made the right investments in protecting people’s health.

Shin called trachoma "a disease of poverty," noting that communities that do not have good access to safe water and sanitation are the hardest hit.

Trachoma has been a health problem in Cambodia since the 1990s and in Laos since the 1970s.

Cambodia and Laos are the first countries in the WHO Western Pacific region to be declared as having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem, WHO said.

Trachoma, an eye disease caused by infection with Chlamydia trachomatis bacteria, is the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide, according to a WHO statement.

It said infection is spread through contact with discharge from the eyes and nose of an infected person, particularly young children.

Transmission of the infection is closely linked with poor sanitation and hygiene, WHO said.-VNA