More than 10 million people protected against trachoma

14 July 2017

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The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust has successfully treated 10.9 million people with medication to stop the spread of trachoma.

Trachoma is caused by bacteria called chlamydia trachomatis, which affects both children and adults. If left untreated, the disease can lead to irreversible blindness.

Mass drug administration (MDA), the careful distribution of antibiotics to an entire population of an area, helps to stop the spread of trachoma by interrupting the life cycle of the microorganisms that cause the disease.

The Trust has distributed 15.9 million doses of antibiotics so far through MDA. Each person may need repeated doses to ensure they are free from the disease.

In Malawi, the Trust and its partners have distributed 3.1 million treatments in five districts, to more than 80 per cent of the targeted population. This has helped many districts in the country to reach the elimination threshold for active (inflammatory) trachoma.