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The World Health Organization (WHO) has validated Nepal for having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem – a milestone, as the country becomes the first in WHO’s South-East Asia Region to defeat the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness.

“Nepal’s achievement is commendable and results from strong political commitment, intense community engagement and impressive leadership demonstrated by civil society,” Dr Khetrapal Singh.

Trachoma was the second leading cause of preventable blindness in Nepal in the 1980s.

“This remarkable achievement demonstrates what political commitment and sustained partner support can do,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director-General.

“It is a big step towards health for everyone and comes at a time when Nepal accelerates its fight against other neglected tropical diseases.

”A letter acknowledging validation was presented yesterday to Nepal’s Minister of State for Health and Population Ms Padma Kumari Aryal by the WHO South-East Asia Regional Director Dr Poonam Khetrapal Singh and the WHO Director-General Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus in Geneva, Switzerland where the World Health Assembly is taking place.