Trachoma, a bacterial infection of the eye which can cause blindness affects many people in impoverished regions. It is most common in children. However, there is an antibiotic available costing just 15 cents, that is effective in preventing the disease.
Two million people currently live in the region of Gamo Gofa (Derashe and Konso) in southern Ethiopia where approximately 34,000 people are suffering with the chronic, painful and blinding eye disease, trachoma. Without treatment, this disease, which often starts in childhood, progresses and robs its victims of their sight and their livelihoods.
In the coming months Orbis plans to distribute the antibiotic, Zithromax, to over half a million people from this region. The antibiotic will treat the active trachoma infection and prevent the disease from further transmission.
This antibiotic, kindly donated by Pfizer, will be distributed annually for between three and five years will enable the society to attain freedom from trachoma and allow the next generation to grow up free from the threat of blindness