Blinding trachoma expected to be eliminated in Uganda by 2020
The Trust is delighted that its Trachoma Initiative in Uganda will now fully eliminate blinding trachoma in the nation by the year 2020.
Since beginning work in Uganda in 2014, the Trust’s Trachoma Initiative has trained over 40 surgeons and treated over 22,000 people who suffer from blinding trachoma. Along with our partners, we have also trained over 3,300 case finders to locate those who are in need of treatment to save their vision.
The United Kingdom’s Department for International Development’s Global Trachoma Mapping Project has now indicated that such significant progress towards eliminating trachoma in the African nation has been made that the disease can be eliminated within the Trust’s lifespan.
With the support of the Lions Clubs International Foundation, we are working with the Government of Uganda and our partners from the International Coalition for Trachoma Control to implement the SAFE Strategy – Surgery for trichiasis, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness, and Environmental improvement – in trachoma-endemic regions of Uganda.
Trachoma affects people’s ability to look after themselves and their family, undertake many forms of work and simply see their loved ones. It is also incredibly painful for sufferers, as with every blink their eyelashes scrape the surface of the eye.
The Trust’s Trachoma Initiative is working to fully eliminate blinding trachoma in seven Commonwealth countries, including Uganda, by 2020, and is seeking to achieve significant progress towards elimination in four more.
On the news that blinding trachoma can be fully eliminated in Uganda within the Trust’s lifetime, Dr Astrid Bonfield CBE, Chief Executive of the Trust, said:
We are truly delighted that the goal of full elimination of blinding trachoma in Uganda is within our reach. The Global Trachoma Mapping Project, led by the Department for International Development, has demonstrated the progress that has been made towards elimination in Uganda. We are committed to working with partners to ensure that this success continues. A trachoma-free Uganda would improve the lives of so many, and will serve as a fitting tribute to Her Majesty The Queen.