Sightsavers is working towards eliminating blinding trachoma in Zambia. In 2017 we distributed more than 2.8 million treatments to help control the spread of the disease.
Zambia is a landlocked country blessed with a wealth of natural resources, including the largest copper deposits in Africa. However, two-thirds of Zambia’s population of 16.2 million continue to live in poverty.
Life expectancy is among the lowest in the world, at just 57 years old, and health outcomes are poor. It is estimated that 2.8 per cent of people over the age of 50 in Zambia are blind, and 11 per cent have visual impairments.
Almost 20 per cent of the population live in areas affected by blinding trachoma. This infectious disease starts out a bit like conjunctivitis, but if it’s not treated it causes scarring to the eyelid that makes the eyelashes turn inward, so with every blink they scrape against the eye. Sightsavers is working towards eliminating trachoma in Zambia.
The Global Trachoma Mapping Project is the largest infectious disease survey ever undertaken, helping to pinpoint accurately the world’s trachoma-endemic areas. Completed in January 2016, the project saw surveyors collect data from 2.6 million people in 29 countries, including Zambia, using Android smartphones.