Trachoma has been a public health problem in Chad since the 1970s. In 2018, we distributed more than 1.9 million antibiotic treatments to control the spread of trachoma in the country.

Women gather in their village in the Guera region in southern Chad.

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.

At a glance

Total population
  • 14.45 million

  • What we focus on
  • Trachoma

  • Key programmes
  • SAFE: trachoma control
  • A billion NTD treatments
  • Tropical Data Project
  • Trachoma Mapping Project

  • A schoolboy splashes water on his face to learn about facewashing, as part of a SAFE initiative in Senegal.

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