Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters Trachoma control

Don’t let misinformation derail the trachoma elimination programme

BMJ 2012; 344 doi: (Published 10 April 2012) Cite this as: BMJ 2012;344:e2579
  1. Anthony W Solomon, lecturer1
  2. On behalf of David C W Mabey, professor; Clare Gilbert, professor; Ulla Griffiths, lecturer; Anne Mills, professor; Allen Foster, professor (London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK); Sheila K West, professor (Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins University, USA); Paul Courtright, director (Kilimanjaro Centre for Community Ophthalmology, Tumaini University, Tanzania) Joseph Feczko, former chief medical officer (Pfizer, USA); Wondu Alemayehu, consultant (Berhan Public Health and Eye Care Consultancy, Ethiopia); Catherine Cross, prevention of blindness consultant (UK); Thomas M Lietman, professor (Francis I Proctor Foundation, University of California San Francisco, USA); Danny Haddad, director (International Trachoma Initiative, Task Force for Global Health, USA); Caroline Harper, chief executive officer (Sightsavers, UK); Paul Emerson, director of trachoma programs (Carter Center, USA); Richard Le Mesurier, medical director (Fred Hollows Foundation, Australia); Peter Ackland, chief executive officer (International Agency for the Prevention of Blindness, UK); Dirk Engels, coordinator (Preventive Chemotherapy for Neglected Tropical Diseases, WHO, Switzerland); Silvio P Mariotti, ophthalmologist (WHO Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020, Switzerland)
  1. 1London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT, UK
  1. anthony.solomon{at}

Chisholm and colleagues’ paper is important to policy makers,1 so serious errors in the trachoma analysis require correction.2

Firstly, “mass treatment with azithromycin” for trachoma was defined as azithromycin treatment for all children aged 1-10 years,3 whereas the World Health Organization recommends treatment of all residents.

Secondly, data from a 1998-9 western Nepal trial were extrapolated to estimate effectiveness of mass treatment throughout sub-Saharan Africa and South East Asia.

Thirdly, the …

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