The number of people at risk for trachoma, a painful and infectious cause of blindness affecting those in the most vulnerable situations, has now fallen by 91 percent since 2002, a reduction from 1.5 billion people to just over 142 million.

New data presented at the 22nd meeting of the World Health Organization (WHO) Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 (GET2020) last June also demonstrated that the number of people requiring surgery for late stages of the disease has dropped by 68 percent.

Since 1998, over $70 million in key partners with the goal to eliminate blinding trachoma had been invested. This has been largely through support for the SAFE strategy, namely: surgery for trichiasis, antibiotics to clear infection, and facial cleanliness and environmental improvement to reduce transmission.

This funding strategy focuses on filling strategic gaps in this space, primarily through supporting trichiasis surgeries and investing in the generation of high-quality data to better target trachoma endemic areas.

It has played a critical role in the fight against the disease, contributing directly to the programs in several target countries that have achieved elimination, including Morocco, Ghana and, most recently, Cambodia.

Source: Hilton Foundation

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