Without significant funding from the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and co-funding from the IZUMI Foundation, this would not have been possible.
The Conrad N. Hilton Foundation has already donated US$40 million towards trachoma-eliminating projects through Helen Keller International and the Carter Center. The grant awarded to Sightsavers has given us a fantastic opportunity to pilot a new programme for tackling trachoma.
Known as mHealth, the programme will provide our surgeons on the road with mobiles to send information via text message. They’ll report on the areas where trachoma is most prevalent, the number of people they screen, the surgeries they carry out, and the number of follow-up consultations they provide.
This kind of information is vital in helping eliminate trachoma. It enables us to deliver treatment where it’s needed most, particularly in the more remote regions. The pilot is currently being trialled in the Koulikoro region in Mali, but given its success we’re now looking at making mHealth available in four more regions too.
People requiring surgery treat severe cases of trachoma, the world’s leading cause of infectious blindness, have declined from 7.6 million in 2002 to 2 million in 2020, according to World Health Organization data.
Sightsavers staff provide a first-hand insight into the five ways we’re making sure children with disabilities aren’t left behind during the COVID-19 pandemic.
We have a lot of work ahead of us to ensure that no one is left behind, but if we can eliminate one NTD, we can then focus on eliminating the others.