The situation

Before the Initiative started work in Zambia in 2017, more than 4.8 million people in the country were believed to be at risk of going blind from trachoma.

In order to identify where our efforts were needed most, we mapped the prevalence of trachoma in the country. As a result, the Trachoma Initiative began working in Zambia in May 2017 with a clear action plan to help make decisive progress towards eliminating trachoma in the country.

What we’re doing about it

We’re working with a network of partners including the UK government’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Zambian government, to help eliminate trachoma by providing carefully administered antibiotics to 3.8 million people in 29 districts of the country by the end of 2019.

Our programme will also ensure as many as 1,500 people receive sight-saving surgery across 12 districts. In addition, surveys will be carried out to pinpoint the prevalence of trachoma as the country moves towards elimination, and track where the disease has been eliminated as a public health problem.

Progress so far

So far, more than 1.5 million people in 13 districts have been treated with antibiotics to stop the spread of trachoma in Zambia. Additionally, 44 case finders have been trained and mobilised to locate people who might need their trichiasis managed by trained surgeons of the health system. To date, 587 confirmed trichiasis patients have received programme-supported management services.

Photo credit: Sightsavers

"We know what we need to do to eliminate the disease"

Dr Astrid Bonfield, Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust

Our Partners - Zambia

The initiative is being delivered by the International Coalition for Trachoma Control, in association with the partners below.