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Trachoma is found in 44 countries and has blinded or visually impaired around 1.9 million people worldwide (WHO).

Treatment and successes

There is a prevention and treatment strategy: the WHO-endorsed SAFE strategy that brings Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvement to communities where trachoma is found. To implement SAFE, national governments and non-governmental organizations are uniting like never before.

This has led to remarkable successes: the WHO reports that the number of people at risk of trachoma has fallen from 1.5 billion in 2002 to just over 142 million in 2019, a reduction of 91%. Since 2011, eight countries have been validated by WHO as having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem.

Trends and challenges

Delayed action is costly. Vision loss or blindness leads to loss of social status, stigmatization and reclusion from society. With the global community using a strategic plan to focus time, attention and funding, the elimination of trachoma is a possibility.

Photo Credits

Solomon Gadisa, Light for the World