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Navigating diagnostic and therapeutic challenges in ocular manifestations of Hansen's disease and trachoma: A narrative review.


Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) encompass a group of approximately 20 diseases prevalent in tropical and subtropical regions, closely associated with poverty, affecting over a billion people in low-income countries. This manuscript aims to explore the ocular manifestations and burden of two significant NTDs, namely Hansen's disease and trachoma while addressing gaps in understanding and management. Hansen's disease, caused by Mycobacterium leprae, has a long history and presents with diverse neurological and ocular manifestations. Despite the availability of treatment, ocular complications persist, leading to significant visual impairment in some cases. The manuscript emphasizes the importance of early diagnosis, regular ophthalmic examinations, and follow-ups to prevent and control ocular complications, reducing the burden of visual impairment and blindness. Trachoma, caused by Chlamydia trachomatis, remains the leading infectious cause of blindness in underdeveloped and remote areas. The manuscript highlights the clinical diagnosis and implementation of the World Health Organization's (WHO's) SAFE (surgery, antibiotics, facial hygiene, and environmental sanitation) strategy to prevent transmission and associated blindness. However, challenges in health surveillance tools and underreporting of trachoma cases are addressed, emphasizing the need for improved strategies to combat the disease effectively. Through a comprehensive review of the ocular manifestations and management of Hansen's disease and trachoma, this manuscript contributes to the existing knowledge base and enhances a deeper understanding of these NTDs. Addressing gaps in understanding and management emphasizes the importance of implementing WHO's strategies and collaborative efforts to achieve the global goal of reducing the burden of NTDs and improving community health and well-being. The manuscript underscores the significance of early intervention, preventive measures, and technological advancements, providing valuable insights for policymakers, healthcare professionals, and researchers working in the field of NTDs.

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Journal Article
Gurnani B
Kaur K
Savla H
Prajjwal P
Pentapati S
Kutikuppala SL