Like so many issues concerning indigenous health, Government attempts over many years to prevent trachoma in remote Aboriginal communities have failed miserably. This cannot be helped at all by Australia's Minister for Aboriginal Affairs tippie-toeing around the facts.
"Mr Snowdon says something happens between childhood and adulthood to heighten the risk of blindness.The something that happens is that some people within these communities have failed to take responsibility for ensuring kids' faces are cleaned. If the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs cannot bring himself to talk about it honestly, what hope are we of not repeating the many failed attempts to eliminate trachoma?
"There clearly is a crossover point where eye health starts to deteriorate and it deteriorates for a range of reasons, mostly environmental and preventable to do with diet etcetera," he said.
At what point will the government realise that if it's not working, you need to try something different?
It's a complex problem, but the presence of eye disease should be one of the key indicators that some remote communities need to be closed down.