Global Ophthalmology Emory (GO-E)

Trachoma Initiative

Trachoma is an eye disease caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. Repeated infections can lead to the inside of a person’s eyelid becoming scarred and turning inward. This causes the eyelashes to scrape against the person’s eye with each blink, which will lead to blindness if left untreated.

Images of trachoma patients Trachoma is most common in poverty-stricken communities with little access to environmental sanitation or basic health education about the benefits of hand and face washing. It often begins as a childhood illness that spreads easily to other children and to caregivers. Women are twice as likely as men to go blind from repeated trachoma infections because of their role as caregivers.

Fortunately, trachoma is preventable with proper hygiene. Simple interventions endorsed by the World Health Organization – known as the SAFE strategy – can help prevent and treat trachoma. SAFE stands for:

Surgery to treat the blinding stage of trachoma;
Antibiotics to prevent and treat infection;
Facial and hand cleanliness;
Environmental improvement.

Emory Eye Center’s trachoma initiative, in partnership with the international trachoma community, aims to permanently end the disability and blindness caused by trachoma. As of June 2017, through funding from the UK’s Department for International Development (DFID) and the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee Trust, we have been able to support SAFE elimination strategies in 370 trachoma endemic health districts in 10 African countries. We have managed more than 160,000 cases of trichiasis and protected 25.4 million people from trachoma by administering more than 49 million doses of antibiotics. With this work, we are on track to aid in the elimination of trachoma in at least four countries by 2020.

Our Emory campus location:

Copyright © Emory Eye Center - All Rights Reserved | Emory Clinic Building B, 1365B Clifton Road, NE, Atlanta, Georgia 30322 USA