Currently more than 4.8 million people in Zambia are at risk of blinding trachoma. Help is needed to distribute antibiotics, educate people about the importance of facial cleanliness and making improvements to the environment in which they live in order to make significant progress towards eliminating this painful and preventable disease.
What we’re doing about it
We’re working with the UK government’s Department for International Development and the Zambian government to eliminate trachoma by providing carefully administered antibiotics to 3.8 million people in 29 districts.
Our programme will ensure as many as 1,600 people with blinding trachoma receive sight-saving surgery across 12 districts. 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.
Photo credit: Sightsavers
Progress so far
The Trachoma Initiative began working in Zambia in May 2017. In order to identify where our efforts were needed most, we mapped the prevalence of trachoma in 51 districts and plan to make another 7 districts in May 2018.
Dr Astrid Bonfield, Chief Executive of The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, said: “I am delighted that, thanks to the remarkable efforts of our trachoma partners to date, we are now able to start working in Zambia to eliminate blinding trachoma.
“We know what we need to do to eliminate the disease. We must all do all we can to ensure that it no longer needlessly causes pain, suffering or blindness to anyone in the Commonwealth or around the world.”