Orbis Ireland

Orbis' mission is to preserve and restore sight by strengthening the capacity of local partners in their efforts to prevent and treat blindness with the vision that this will lead to a world in which no one is needlessly blind, where quality eye care, education, and treatment are available to every human being.
Nov 18, 2016

Orbis - Determined to Eliminate Trachoma

Diane comforting a patient in Ethiopia
Diane comforting a patient in Ethiopia

Trachoma affects people living in remote and rural communities, usually in abject poverty; it is one of the most unfair diseases in the world, blinding the people who have the least to start with and making them poorer.

Trachoma is the world's leading infectious cause of blindness. It is one of 18 neglected tropical diseases that effects over one billion of the world's poorest people. 

Trachoma is caused by a contagious bacterial infection of the eye spread from person to person through contact with contaminated hands, clothing and flies. It often begins in early childhood, and is worsened by episodes of reinfection. This causes inflammation and scarring of the inner eyelid. The eyelashes touch and scratch the surface of the eyeball and, considering we blink an estimated 19,000 times each day, this repeated action leads to horrific pain and irreversible blindness.

Many trachoma sufferers are women and children who unknowingly pass infection to each other with every hug or touch. All too often it is the women who are the sole providers for a family. Women who cannot see, cannot work and therefore cannot feed their children. Trachoma not only threatens individuals, but entire families and ultimately communities.

Whilst impressive progress has been made in recent years, we still have a lot to do, particularly as the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem cannot be achieved in isolation when it is linked to so many other pressing health and development issues, including lack of access to clean water, and improved sanitation and hygiene. 

Orbis is committed to eliminating trachoma. We know we are on the brink of achieving something significant. Eliminating Trachoma. Now, we need to scale up programmes and strengthen health systems to ensure the poorest people, those most affected by trachoma, are not left behind.

Thank you for your support - we couldn't do it without you! 

Nov 3, 2016

The Importance of Sight in Ethiopia

Adanech recently brought her two daughters to one of Orbis' antibiotic* distributuion outreach programmes in southern Ethiopia. 

Adanech had suffered from trachoma 10 years ago and, after repeated infection without any treatment, she needed surgery in order to reverse the effects.

Therefore, when she heard about the outreach programme, from Health Extension Workers who visited her village, she knew how important it was for her daughters to receive the medication.

"I now understand the effects of trachoma. I know how to help my daughters from experiencing the same pain. I nearly went blind and I don't want that for them".

"In our community sight is very important because we need to go to fetch water, we need to go to buy something from the market, we need to go collect fire wood and the like and we use our eyes. If we have sight problems it is difficult to do all of these activities and we’re not going to be able to contribute. In the past I have seen people in our community that have had trachoma end up begging on the side of the road because they are unable to work. This medicine is going to help us be relieved from all these problems and that’s why I’m here". 

Orbis is working to contribute to the reduction of avoidable blindness and visual impairment due to trachoma. An estimated 200 million people are at risk of trachoma in 42 countries. Trachoma is a neglected tropical disease. It occurs in some of the poorest populations with limited access to clean water, sanitation, and healthcare, and is the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness.

In southern Ethiopia, Orbis is implementing the World Health organisation's SAFE strategy which involves conducting corrective Surgery to reverse the effects of blinding trachoma; distributing Antibiotics to treat the initial blinding infection; raising awareness of the importance of Facial cleanliness to prevent the bacteria which causes the infection and improving the surrounding Environment through access to clean water and sanitation. 

Thanks to your continued support, we are able to distribute more antibiotics to fight the infection. 

*Zithromax is the Pfizer-donated antibiotic used to protect against trachoma. 

Oct 28, 2016

"Sight is so important in order to live"

Adanech with her daughter receiving antibiotics
Adanech with her daughter receiving antibiotics

Adanech recently brought her two daughters to one of Orbis' antibiotic* distributuion outreach programmes in southern Ethiopia. 

Adanech had suffered from trachoma 10 years ago and, after repeated infection without any treatment, she needed surgery in order to reverse the effects.

Therefore, when she heard about the outreach programme, from Health Extension Workers who visited her village, she knew how important it was for her daughters to receive the medication.

"I now understand the effects of trachoma. I know how to help my daughters from experiencing the same pain. I nearly went blind and I don't want that for them".

"In our community sight is very important because we need to go to fetch water, we need to go to buy something from the market, we need to go collect fire wood and the like and we use our eyes. If we have sight problems it is difficult to do all of these activities and we’re not going to be able to contribute. In the past I have seen people in our community that have had trachoma end up begging on the side of the road because they are unable to work. This medicine is going to help us be relieved from all these problems and that’s why I’m here". 

Orbis is working to contribute to the reduction of avoidable blindness and visual impairment due to trachoma. An estimated 200 million people are at risk of trachoma in 42 countries. Trachoma is a neglected tropical disease. It occurs in some of the poorest populations with limited access to clean water, sanitation, and healthcare, and is the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness.

In southern Ethiopia, Orbis is implementing the World Health organisation's SAFE strategy which involves conducting corrective Surgery to reverse the effects of blinding trachoma; distributing Antibiotics to treat the initial blinding infection; raising awareness of the importance of Facial cleanliness to prevent the bacteria which causes the infection and improving the surrounding Environment through access to clean water and sanitation. 

Thanks to your continued support, we are able to distribute more antibiotics to fight the infection. 

*Zithromax is the Pfizer-donated antibiotic used to protect against trachoma. 

 
   

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