Key trachoma facts and statistics

ICTC strongly encourages its members and all trachoma stakeholders to use these figures for consistency of messaging.

  • Trachoma is the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness and one of 20 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that affect over one billion of the world’s poorest people - Source: WHO
  • 10 countries have been validated by WHO as having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem (Cambodia, China, Ghana, the Islamic Republic of Iran, Lao People’s Democratic Republic, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman) - Source: WHO Weekly Epidemiological Record, 24 July 2020*
  • 7 countries may require interventions but in which the necessary investigations in suspected trachoma-endemic areas have not yet been completed (Angola, Botswana, Libya, Micronesia, Namibia, Somalia, Venezuela) – Source: WHO Global Health Observatory 
  • As of 1 May 2020, 40 million people live in 203 suspected districts.  This is a reduction from 2019 in which 62 million people lived in 363 suspected districts.  Baseline mapping efforts currently underway will continue to confirm if suspected districts are endemic or not for trachoma. – Source: WHO Weekly Epidemiological Record, 24 July 2020
  • In 2019, of the 36 countries that reported TT surgery, 32 reported gender-disaggregated data, covering 92% of individuals operated on for TT; of these, 67% were female, indicating gender equality given that, compared to men, women have nearly twice the risk of developing trachomatous trichiasisSource: WHO Weekly Epidemiological Record, 24 July 2020

The WHO Weekly Epidemiological Record, 24 July 2020 reports nine countries have eliminated trachoma as a public health problem as of May 2020. Myanmar was validated by WHO in September 2020.

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WHO's Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) also serves as an essential instrument for the dissemination of epidemiological information.