FEATURE : Eliminating Trachoma in Chad

Le 27/05/2014

The worldwide fight against trachoma

Trachoma is the world’s most common infectious cause of blindness. It currently affects 21 million people and a further 180 million are at risk.
The Global Trachoma Mapping Project, funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development, aims to examine a sample of four million people across 30 countries by March 2015 to identify where people are living at risk of the disease and where treatment programmes are needed.

The global epidemiological survey, launched in December 2012 and led by Sightsavers, is also supported by the International Trachoma Initiative, and a number of non-governmental organisations and academic institutions, including the Organisation for the Prevention of Blindness with its interventions in the implementation of the project in Chad.

First stages already completed thanks to the OPC’s support

2012 : National Trachoma Control Programme defined and validated

Conceived with support from the OPC, the National Trachoma Control Programme (NTCP) was verified and validated by a committee of independent experts. Their validation of the programme led not only to its rollout but also to Pfizer’s donation of nearly 1.5 million antibiotic treatments.

2013-early 2014 : Initial training and pilot project

-  17 health agents and 504 voluntary community agents trained in diagnosis and treatment of trachoma.
-  7 superior ophthalmic technicians trained and provided with material for the operation of trichiasis, a blinding complication of trachoma.
-  199,714 children and adults treated, and 1,350 trichiases operated through the guise of the pilot programme in Guéra region in the Mongo health district. This pilot programme has proved the nation-wide feasibility and efficient functioning of the NTCP.

Today

2014 : Treating patients and pinpointing at-risk zones

-  Through the opening of a new Central African Regional Office in N’Djamena, the OPC’s team in Chad will be strengthened
-  10 superior ophthalmic technicians and 10 data collectors have been trained in trachoma mapping
-  The three regions of Mayo Kebbi Est, Mayo Kebbi Ouest and Batha will be surveyed to precisely identify areas affected by trachoma that would therefore invoke action through the NTCP framework.
-  Thanks to Pfizer’s donation of medicine, every single affected person will be treated
-  An estimated 6,000 trichiasis patients are expected to be identified.

The next steps

2015-2020 : Gradual rollout of the NCTP country-wide
Targets :

-  Train 22,600 community agents and 200 specialist health agents
-  Operate on 64,000 trichiasis patients (100% of diagnosed cases)
-  Treat 6.75 million people (80% of at-risk population)
-  An anticipated 90-95% of children encountered will apply UNICEF’s WASH hygiene strategies which prevent trachoma along with several other diseases
-  Provide clean drinking water to 60% of the population (currently 46%)

Because of this programme, trachoma will be eliminated in Chad. You too can be part of this momentous step forward in the protection of the sight of the most vulnerable populations in the world.
A donation of just 50€ allows an ophthalmologist to operate on 10 trichiasis patients. Donate today and give the gift of sight !

To make a donation, CLICK HERE
A child after receiving trichiasis treatment. Photo © ITI

The OPC would like to thank its donors and partners without whom this programme would not be possible :

- The UK government’s Department for International Development
- The International Trachoma Initiative(ITI)
- Sightsavers
- Pfizer