ORBIS-trained health workers visit numerous villages throughout the region of Gamo Gofa, Derashe and Konso in order to distribute the antibiotic Zithromax. Many of these villages are extremely remote and therefore the knowledge of ORBIS and its sight saving work is completely unknown. In these cases is it at times not easy to convince villagers of the efficacy of the antibiotic.
It is not uncommon for villagers to believe in witchcraft as a method to cure blindness and to convince them otherwise is at times a lengthy process.
Health workers first have to familiarise villagers with the antibiotic and convince them of its role in fighting trachoma. Then they have to persuade the villagers to overcome their suspicions about unknown medication, particularly when it comes to giving it to their children.
Zithromax offers a simple cure that has a marked success at controlling trachoma infection rates across Ethiopia!
ORBIS’s involvement in combating trachoma extends beyond the distribution of Zithromax. ORBIS promotes important behavioural changes to guard against re-infection, advocating and implementing the World Health Organisation’s “SAFE” strategy, which aims to eliminate trachoma through Surgery, Antibiotics, Face washing and Environmental improvement.
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