Trachomatous trichiasis is an eye condition caused by repeated ocular infections with the bacterimum chlamydia trachomatis. The disease is common in rural areas of developing countries with limited access to water and hygiene practices, with flies carrying the infection from one child’s face to another. In children, infection presents as conjunctivitis. However, years of repeated infection cause the eyelid to scar and turn inward such that the eyelashes rub against the eye, a condition called trichiasis. If not corrected, the continual scratching of the eyelashes on the eye can lead to irreversible blindness. Trichiasis is 2-4 times more common in women than men. It is corrected through surgery that involves making an incision along the length of the eyelid and rotating the eyelashes back to their original position. Over 2 million individuals currently need trichiasis surgery. Most surgery is performed by health workers with limited nursing training and a short course (~1 month) on how to perform the procedure.
The Guide outlines strategies and approaches proposed by WHO that provide practical, step-by-step support to Member States in the planning and implementation of integrated people-centred eye care (IPEC).