Trachoma is an infection of the upper inner lining of the eyelid, caused by the bacteria chlamydia trachomatis. Acute infections occur more commonly in young children, and repeated untreated infections in childhood can lead to blindness in older adults.
Person-to-person contact, flies and sharing towels can all spread trachoma. Risk factors for contracting trachoma include:
- inadequate housing
- poor hygiene
- dusty conditions.
Our Trachoma Elimination Program aims to eliminate blindness caused by trachoma. We are working to reduce cases of active trachoma in children to less than 5% of the population by raising awareness of facial cleanliness. We are also aiming to reduce the cases of untreated trichiasis to less than 1 per 1000 people.