Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs)

The Challenge

  • Trachoma is the leading infectious cause of preventable blindness in the world.
  • This painful disease results from a bacterium prevalent in poor communities that have limited access to adequate sanitation and clean water.
  • If trachoma is left untreated, recurrent scarring of the eyelid causes the eyelashes to turn inward and rake the cornea – so that the sufferer literally blinks him or herself blind.
  • Over 20 million people are affected by trachoma, and 2.2 million of those people are visually impaired.

HKI Solutions

  • In our efforts to help control trachoma, Helen Keller International implements the WHO-endorsed SAFE strategy (Surgery-Antibiotics-Face cleanliness-Environmental improvements) through community-based programs.
  • Helen Keller International strengthens and empowers struggling government health systems by training surgeons and nurses and by providing necessary antibiotic supplies and surgical materials, as well as facilitating patient follow-up. The simple surgical procedure to correct trichiasis, the blinding stage of trachoma, has a success rate of 80%, and costs $40-$60 per person.
  • HKI’s school health programs motivate children to practice frequent face-washing and other preventive habits, a cost-effective way to promote trachoma control.
  • HKI works with local governments and organizational partners such as WaterAid to help deliver environmental changes like expanding access to clean water.
<p>http://vimeo.com/27344148</p>
<h3>The Challenge</h3>
<ul>
<li>Trachoma is the leading infectious cause of preventable blindness in the world.</li>
<li>This painful disease results from a bacterium prevalent in poor communities that have limited access to adequate sanitation and clean water.</li>
<li>If trachoma is left untreated, recurrent scarring of the eyelid causes the eyelashes to turn inward and rake the cornea &ndash; so that the sufferer literally blinks him or herself blind. </li>
<li>Over 20 million people are affected by trachoma, and 2.2 million of those people are visually impaired.</li>
</ul>
<h3>HKI Solutions</h3>
<ul>
<li>In our efforts to help control trachoma, Helen Keller International implements the WHO-endorsed SAFE strategy (Surgery-Antibiotics-Face cleanliness-Environmental improvements) through community-based programs.</li>
<li>Helen Keller International strengthens and empowers struggling government health systems by training surgeons and nurses and by providing necessary antibiotic supplies and surgical materials, as well as facilitating patient follow-up. The simple surgical procedure to correct trichiasis, the blinding stage of trachoma, has a success rate of 80%, and costs $40-$60 per person.</li>
<li>HKI&rsquo;s school health programs motivate children to practice frequent face-washing and other preventive habits, a cost-effective way to promote trachoma control.</li>
<li>HKI works with local governments and organizational partners such as WaterAid to help deliver environmental changes like expanding access to clean water.</li>
</ul>