Agatha is Sightsavers’ global trachoma programme coordinator. Her role includes giving technical advice to trachoma programmes in endemic countries, and to ensure everyone is following the SAFE strategy, international standards and best practices.
“My passion in trachoma elimination is about saving the sight of people and ensuring that people don’t fall into the cycle of poverty due to this avoidable blinding disease. I have a lot of passion for trachoma elimination, so much that I don’t want to do anything else. I want to work hard to see a world free of trachoma.”
Trachoma is one of the world’s oldest recorded diseases: it has been blinding humans for thousands of years. This NTD thrives where there are water shortages, poor sanitation and infestations of flies. If not treated, trachoma causes the eyelashes to turn inwards and scrape against the eye with every blink, leading to terrible pain, and over time, blindness. The agony of trachoma can lead to a cycle of poverty, limiting many people’s access to health services, education and employment.
Dr Agatha Aboe was nominated for The Bond International Development's humanitarian honour award for her impressive leadership of Ghana’s national trachoma elimination programme.Find out more
When Agatha first started working on the Ghana National Trachoma Programme, trachoma was a major public health problem across the country. But thanks in part to Agatha’s leadership and sheer determination, in 2018 Ghana became the first country in sub-Saharan Africa to eliminate blinding trachoma.
“The day that the World Health Organization (WHO) announced that Ghana had eliminated trachoma and gave us the validation letter, my heart was overjoyed. It had been my dream to see that day come and I felt so proud to be on the forefront of that success. It’s a lifetime achievement and one I look forward to supporting other countries with.”