Trachoma, a bacterial infection of the eye which can cause blindness which affects many people in impoverished regions. It is most common in children. However, there is an inexpensive antibiotic available that is effective in preventing and treating the disease.
Ethiopia represents around 30% of the trachoma burden of Sub Saharan Africa. Without treatment, this painful and debilitating disease, which often starts in childhood, progresses and robs its victims of their sight and their livelihoods. This disease is a marker of poverty as it targets the most vulnerable. Mothers are particularly at risk of repeated infection which may need surgical treatment. The mass distribution of the antibiotic will save families from blindness.
Orbis will distribute the antibiotic, Zithromax, to over a million people from this region. The antibiotic will treat the active trachoma infection and prevent the disease from further transmission. We will also be training local eye care workers to distribute the antibiotic safely and effectively.
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