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Sightsavers Reports

Tackling trachoma in Senegal

August 2016
Aminata has her eyes screened for trachoma.

Aminata is just nine months old. Born into a country where trachoma is prevalent and living in conditions where clean water may not be immediately available means she is at risk of contracting it.

If she does, she could lose her sight and, as she grows, her independence.

Trachoma is a major public health problem in Senegal and is endemic in several regions. If contracted, the disease can be excruciatingly painful: it eventually causes the eyelashes to turn inwards and irritate the eye’s surface, leading to blisters and even complete loss of sight.

Little Aminata is held up to the camera.

Implementing the SAFE strategy

Aminata’s village, Diam Diam, sits in the Kaffrine region of Senegal, 150 miles from the capital, Dakar. Sightsavers has been working with the region’s medical centre to train and support a community distribution programme for Zithromax®, the antibiotic that protects people like Aminata from trachoma for a year.

This programme is being implemented alongside training eye health nurses to perform trichiasis surgery, the provision of bathrooms in some villages, and education around face washing. These four aspects of the SAFE strategy (surgery, antibiotics, face washing and environmental improvement) are recommended by the World Health Organization as the most effective method to tackle the disease.

Thanks to donations from people like you, this Sightsavers-led programme has provided Aminata and her village with Zithromax™, protecting them from this brutal disease for an entire year.

Your donation could help children like Aminata

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