The last five years have seen incredible progress in the global campaign to eliminate trachoma, the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness.
Since 2011, the number of people at risk of trachoma has fallen from 325 million in 2011 to around 200 million at the beginning of 2016.
Such progress has been made possible by a unique partnership of developments actors, and endemic country governments, international organisations, academic bodies and private donors working in support of the World Health Organization (WHO) Alliance for the Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 (GET2020).
Members of the International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC) have been instrumental in mobilising partners and resources as part of the GET2020 drive to expand the WHO-endorsed SAFE strategy (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvements) across many of the world’s most endemic regions.
In order to expand, it is essential that we first understand where treatment and interventions are needed.
In December 2012, the world’s most ambitious infectious disease survey was launched, the DFID/USAID-funded Global Trachoma Mapping Project (GTMP).
More than 600 teams of intensively trained and certified local graders and recorders trekked to the farthest corners of 29 countries over three years to screen 2.6 million people – on average, one person was examined every 40 seconds. By the end of the project, 1,546 districts had been mapped using the same methodologies, processes and systems, generating over 60 million data items.
Meet the Team Working to Eliminate One of the World’s Leading Causes of Blindness, published in USAID Frontlines, highlights the tremendous efforts of such committed stakeholders to assist national NTD programmes in completing the global map for trachoma.