World Sight Day 2015 - Briefing Call on Trachoma

At a Glance: 

On Thursday, October 8, 2015, Helen Keller International hosted a briefing conference call on our work and impact in treating and eliminating trachoma. HKI's Whitney Goldman, Monitoring & Evaluation Specialist for the USAID-Funded Morbidity Management and Disability Prevention project; and Thierno Faye, Deputy Country Director for HKI-Niger, lead the conversation and answered questions posed by listeners. 

Listen to a podcast of Trachoma: A Journey to Elimination

 

  • Trachoma is the leading cause of infectious blindness worldwide.
  • It is found in areas with poor access to clean water and sanitation - generally rural and impoverished areas - where poor hygine, water shortages and inadequate sanitation facilities prevail.
  • Women are 2-3 times more likely to develop trachiasis - the final blinding stage of the disease which is incredibly painful - largely due to their role as caregivers of children, who are more vulnerable to repeated infections
  • Trachoma has been directly linked to perpetuating cycles of poverty. WHO estimates the economic loss incurred by the desease in terms of lost productivity is US$2.9-5.3 billion annually. 
  • HKI's work in trachoma treatment and prevention dates back to the 1950s.
  • The next countries expected to achieve elimination are Nepal, Cambodia and Myanmar in Asia, and Niger, Mali and Cameroon in Africa.

Learn more about our work in treating and eliminating trachoma and other diseases of poverty.

Stories of Impact

Thierno Faye recounts his experience meeting a Nazifi Aminou who desperately needed eye surgery, and how HKI was able to fund the procedure without his family having to pay anything.
 
The team from HKI-Tanzania recount a recent chance to witness further steps toward trachoma elimination as an exciting new internvention program is launched across the country.