Over 415,000 Antibiotics Distributed to Supress Blinding Eye Disease Through QFFD Funded Programme
Thanks to the support of Qatar Fund for Development, international eye care charity Orbis is working with partners in Ethiopia to tackle the devastating eye infection, Trachoma. The project falls under the Qatar Creating Vision initiative and this year, more than 415,000 doses of antibiotics have been distributed across Amaro, Burji and Gedeo, to work towards the elimination of the disease.
A colossal 55% of the world’s burden of Trachoma can be found in Ethiopia, with 64 million of the population at risk of developing the painful condition and 70% of cases in the country impacting women and girls.
Trachoma is a is highly contagious disease yet is easily preventable and treatable through the World Health organisation’s SAFE strategy:
- Facial Cleanliness,
- Environmental improvements.
In rural Ethiopia, the burden of the disease remains high, as medical support can be hard to reach. Through repeated infection from childhood, Trachoma Trichiasis can develop, causing a person’s eye lashes to turn inwards, scraping across the eye’s surface with every excruciating blink. Unless they have access to treatment, such as surgery, multiple infections can result in permanent blindness.
To support the distribution of the antibiotics, almost 900 government officials, health workers and volunteers were trained by Orbis to deliver the drug by going door to door, ensuring those in remote areas were reached, helping to protect communities against the infection.
HE Mr. Khalifa bin Jassim Al-Kuwari, Director General of Qatar Fund for Development, stated: “We proudly support Qatar Creating Vision in partnership with Orbis to combat Trachoma in Ethiopia. The distribution of 415,000 antibiotics marks a significant stride in eliminating this eye disease. Our collaboration underscores our commitment to global health challenges, aiming to contribute to the WHO’s goal of eliminating Trachoma by 2030, ensuring a healthier future for at-risk communities.”
Rebecca Cronin, CEO of Orbis UK said: “Mass Dug Administrations are a powerful tool in the fight against Trachoma. The World Health Organisation has set a goal of eliminating the condition as a public health issue by 2030. Trachoma can be found in areas with limited sanitation and clean water. It has blighted communities for thousands of years and has no place in our modern world. It is thanks to supporters, such as the Qatar Fund for Development, that we’re able to work with partners towards achieving the target, bringing vital eye care to communities across Ethiopia.” To approve
Between 2016 and 2020 in India and Bangladesh, thanks to the generosity of the Qatar Fund for Development, Orbis and their strategic partners provided more than 6 million eye tests and treatments, mainly to children, through Qatar Creating Vision. The project in Ethiopia launched phase two of the initiative in April 2022, and earlier this year, a project in Zambia began, to tackle paediatric blindness.
Orbis has been transforming lives through the prevention and treatment of avoidable blindness for four decades. With a close network of partners, they mentor and train local eye care teams – from community workers to doctors and nurses – so that they can save and restore vision in their communities.
- Geography Ethiopia
- Timeline 2023 - 2023
- Initiatives Qatar Creating Vision
- SDGS Good Health
- Sector Health Care