World Sight Day 2016 celebrations
Partners working to eliminate trachoma in Uganda came together on 13th October to celebrate World Sight Day in Nakapiripirit District in Northern Uganda.
The trachoma programme in Uganda is funded by The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust’s Trachoma Initiative and managed by the Uganda Ministry of Health. The programme is coordinated by The Carter Center and delivered by ICTC members including Sightsavers, Christian Blind Mission (CBM), WaterAid, John Hopkins Center for Communication Programmes and Water Missions International alongside other local implementing agencies.
The theme of World Sight Day 2016 was ‘Stronger Together’ and the event was a celebration of some of the milestones reached by the partnership. Over the last three years, over 21,000 trachoma trichiasis surgeries have taken place in some of Uganda’s most trachoma endemic areas.
Additionally, six endemic districts now have facial cleanliness activities such as behaviour change programmes and health education, as well as environmental improvement activities of which four are in Busoga, eastern Uganda, and two in Karamoja, northern Uganda. Eight additional districts are expected to begin activities by January 2017.
The Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust’s Chief Executive, Dr Astrid Bonfield, said: “The theme of this year’s World Sight Day is stronger together which is very fitting for Uganda, where partners have joined forces to eliminate blinding trachoma. In the last two years alone, the Trust Trachoma Initiative, with support from the Lions Club International Foundation, has trained 52 surgeons to perform trachoma trichiasis surgery to correct in-turned eyelashes. By working together with government, eye-health experts, INGOs and communities, we are making great progress towards hitting the World Health Organisation’s target to eliminate blinding trachoma once and for all by 2020.”