Millions of people in Chad are at risk of trachoma, a painful infectious eye disease that, if left untreated, can cause blindness.
We’re helping to fight trachoma in the country and stop it spreading using the SAFE strategy, a public health approach endorsed by the World Health Organization.
The SAFE acronym describes the four methods used to control the disease.
- Surgery: to stop eyelashes from rubbing against the eyeball and helping to halt the cycle of repeated infection that can lead to blindness.
- Antibiotics: medication is used to treat the infection and reduce the spread of the disease. It is usually repeated annually for three or more years.
- Facial cleanliness: teaching local communities the importance of face washing, to prevent the infection being spread through contact.
- Environmental improvements: to improve access to water and sanitation to reduce exposure and re-infection, and stop flies breeding.
Sightsavers is leading a five-year SAFE programme in Chad on behalf of the International Coalition for Trachoma Control, funded by the UK government’s Department for International Development.