A child In Ethiopia taking antibiotics to prevent trachoma

Together we can make trachoma history

We have the chance to eliminate blinding trachoma forever.

Humanity once made smallpox a thing of the past – will you join us today and make trachoma history?

Trachoma is the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide. Nearly 2 million people globally live with sight loss or blindness due to the disease.

But the end of this trachoma is in sight. Already in 2023, three more countries, Benin, Mali and Iraq have confirmed elimination of the disease.

The majority of people now at risk from trachoma live in Ethiopia.

Through antibiotics, clean water and sanitation supply, and educational campaigns, we can eliminate trachoma in Ethiopia and everywhere by 2030.

What Is Trachoma?

Trachoma is one of the world’s oldest infectious diseases known to humans. Even Ice age skeletons from 8,000 years ago show evidence of infection.

The highly contagious, yet easily treatable and preventable, disease is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis.

If left untreated, trachoma can cause extreme pain with repeat infections leading to the advanced stages of the disease called trachomatous trichiasis.

This causes the eyelashes to turn inwards, scratching and scarring the eye, and ultimately leading to permanent blindness.

How Do We Eliminate Trachoma?

The SAFE strategy targets trachoma elimination within affected countries by four key initiatives:

  • Surgery for eyelashes turned inwards
  • Antibiotics to stop or slow the spread of infection
  • Facial cleanliness which prevents transmission and infection
  • Environmental improvement, particularly for water and sanitation to reduce transmission

55% of people at risk from trachoma now live in Ethiopia. Since we began our fight against trachoma 20 years ago, millions of people across Ethiopia have been reached by Orbis-funded eye care teams.

Working with our partners, we have delivered over 100 million doses of antibiotics. Seven million fewer people are in need of antibiotics today.

How Can You Help?

To eliminate a disease for good, it takes a global team of people coming together.

That is why we are calling on you to join the push to reach World Health Organisation’s (WHO) target to eliminate trachoma from Ethiopia by 2030.

We know it is possible to end the pain and injustice of this disease. Since 2011, Benin, Ghana, The Gambia, Malawi, Mali and Togo have received WHO validation for eliminating trachoma.

We want Ethiopia added to this list, and together we can make this happen.

We will be sharing how you can get involved and play your part in making trachoma history. Sign up to join the journey to eliminate trachoma.

Find Out More About Trachoma

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