Washing hands at the local clean water source
Orbis recognises the importance of educating communities in Ethiopia about water related issues. With that in mind we, at Orbis, would like to take this chance to tell you a little bit about Trachoma, a devastating eye disease which ultimately blinds it victims. This disease can be controlled by providing clean water to these communities and eductaing them on the importance of personal hygiene.
What is Trachoma?
Trachoma is an eye infection which can result in blindness. It is a leading cause of preventable blindness in the world and happens in areas where people live with limited access to clean water and health care.
The infection normally occurs in childhood but people tend not to become blind until adulthood. The disease progresses over years, eventually causing scarring on the inside of the eyelid with the eyelashes eventually turning inward. This rubbing of the eyelashes on the cornea leads to severe vision loss and eventually blindness.
It is estimated that six million people worldwide are blind due to trachoma and more than 150 million people are in need of treatment *
Whats water got to do with any of this?
Water plays a huge role in preventing the disease;
Increased water availability means that faces can be cleaned more thoroughly. It also means that, for example, fingers and bedclothes, carriers of the organism between one person and another, can be kept cleaner, decreasing the spread of the disease.
Overall, easily accessible water supply help people to maintain a cleaner domestic environment thereby making the area less attractive to the flies which spread the disease.
What is Orbis doing to help this situation?
We work to ensure that communities in Ethiopia have access to clean water sources; We also help to educate people on how best to avoid this preventable disease and overall we strive toward the complete eradication of Trachoma altogether.
*The World Health Organization (WHO)
Collecting clean water for cooking and cleaning