Project #6674

Distributing Antibiotics to Prevent Blindness

by Orbis Ireland
Feb 7, 2011

Antibiotics distribution result in healthy eyes

A young child with early signs of trachoma
A young child with early signs of trachoma

I recently made an annual trip to Ethiopia to take part in the Great Ethiopian Run to raise money for ORBIS. As part of the trip I travelled to Gamo Gofa, Derashe and Konso (GGDK) to witness firsthand the amazing sight saving work of ORBIS.

Trachoma is a constant threat to the sight of Ethiopians. The disease is spread by flies, clothing and close human contact – particularly between mother and child- and festers in dry areas where people have limited access to water. Many Ethiopians consider trachoma as an unavoidable fact of life.

ORBIS is working to change this and through the implementation of the *SAFE strategy throughout the region, ORBIS aims to eliminate the blinding eye disease – trachoma. This strategy includes the distribution of antibiotics which treats the trachoma infection.

During our visit we were fortunate to visit a community where the annual distribution of the antibiotic, *zithromax was being conducted.

We met a young girl of 18 months who, on examination, had trachoma. Children under six months are not able to take the antibiotic and therefore she had been too young to receive the antibiotic the previous year.

Trachoma had developed and therefore she had endured extreme pain and discomfort for up to a year. Without treatment, this disease progressively gets worse leading to the blinding complication of trachoma in which the eyelids turn inward and eyelashes rake across the eye’s surface.

Thankfully, she was on her way to receive her first dose of Zithromax. Her pain will be relieved and her vision preserved thanks to ORBIS.

This project seemed almost insurmountable a few years ago but now, for the first time and thanks to continuous generosity, it looks like we could just reach our goal of eradicating trachoma in this region


*The SAFE strategy designed to prevent and control trachoma, stands for Surgery, Antibiotics, Face washing and Environmental change.

*Zithromax is kindly donated by Pfizer


About Project Reports

Project Reports on GlobalGiving are posted directly to by Project Leaders as they are completed, generally every 3-4 months. To protect the integrity of these documents, GlobalGiving does not alter them; therefore you may find some language or formatting issues.

If you donate to this project or have donated to this project, you will get an e-mail when this project posts a report. You can also subscribe for reports via e-mail without donating.

Get Reports via Email

We'll only email you new reports and updates about this project.

Organization Information

Orbis Ireland

Location: Sandyford, Dublin - Ireland
Website: http:/​/​
Project Leader:
Diane Weatherup
Development Manager
Dublin, Co. Dublin Ireland

Funded Project!

Combined with other sources of funding, this project raised enough money to fund the outlined activities and is no longer accepting donations.

Still want to help?

Support another project run by Orbis Ireland that needs your help, such as:

Find a Project

Learn more about GlobalGiving

Teenage Science Students
Vetting +
Due Diligence


Woman Holding a Gift Card
Gift Cards

Young Girl with a Bicycle

Sign up for the GlobalGiving Newsletter

WARNING: Javascript is currently disabled or is not available in your browser. GlobalGiving makes extensive use of Javascript and will not function properly with Javascript disabled. Please enable Javascript and refresh this page.