DONATE

Combatting trachoma with a mobile phone

August 2014

A close-up of mobile surgeon Boubacar Fomba checking his mobile phone.

It’s an exciting time in Mali. We’re edging closer to eliminating trachoma by 2020; the goal is in sight.

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.

 

• Button text

Sightsavers and eye health
An eye surgeon examines a woman's eyes to check for signs of trachoma.
sightsavers_news

WHO: 74% reduction in people needing advanced trachoma surgery

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.

July 2020
A boy using a phone with his father sitting behind.
Sightsavers from the field

Programme staff explain how we’re supporting children's learning during lockdown

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.

July 2020
A woman standing in a roomful of other people. She is covering one eye with her hand.
Sightsavers blog

How can Malawi overcome the final hurdle to eliminate trachoma?

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.

Effie Kaminyoghe, July 2020