Global Progress Update – 2019Since it started work in 2014, The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust’s Trachoma Initiative has been a significant force in the elimination of trachoma across 12 Commonwealth countries.
Distribution of antibiotic treatments, particularly with the expansion of work in Nigeria and Zambia, has meant the total number of people treated with one or more doses of the antibiotic Zithromax® has now reached over 18.5 million people, with more than 26.6 million doses having been distributed to date, to prevent the spread of infection.
Alongside distributing antibiotics, The Initiative has performed 102,000 surgeries to ease the pain and potentially save the sight of people with the most advanced form of trachoma.
We are also training local health workers to build skills and strengthen national health services for the long-term. To date, we have provided more than 250 sessions to train, retrain and certify trachoma surgeons and trained 61,800 case finders who travel from house to house to find people who are suffering from trachoma and ensure that they receive the treatment they need.
We are proud of the considerable progress that has been made to end trachoma in the last four years. For example, before the work of the Trust’s Trachoma Initiative began, 8 million people in Malawi were at risk of losing their sight to trachoma. Today, the vast majority of Malawians no longer face this risk.
The Trust was delighted that at the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting in 2018, where governments committed to eliminate trachoma by 2020, further boosting efforts to free the Commonwealth of this cruel, painful disease.
The global figures to June 2019 are shown in the infographic below.