The programme will accelerate progress to eventually eliminate trachoma in 10 Commonwealth countries.
The Commonwealth programme follows the World Health Organisation (WHO) treatment strategy for trachoma elimination. This involves an integrated approach to treatment through the SAFE strategy, a public health approach to control the spread of trachoma. The acronym stands for surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness, and environmental improvements.
As part of the strategy, validation dossiers will be prepared and submitted to WHO, where relevant. This is a national report to validate elimination, and a standard part of elimination procedures.
Sightsavers will also continue to carry out baseline mapping, to understand the spread of trachoma and how to tackle it.
Sightsavers is grant manager of the programme, meaning we will allocate funds according to the needs identified by disease mapping. We’re working alongside local partners and country authorities to implement the programme in Kenya, Nigeria, and Tanzania.
The Fred Hollows Foundation will implement it in the Pacific and Pakistan.
In the long-term, the programme aims to improve eye health and access to quality eye care services in trachoma-endemic areas.