Prevention and treatment

Most endemic countries have agreed to accelerate the implementation of this strategy to achieve their respective elimination targets, all by the year 2020.

Control and treatment of trachoma in endemic countries are being implemented through the WHO-recommended SAFE strategy. This consists of:

  • surgery to treat the blinding stage of the disease (trachomatous trichiasis);
  • antibiotics to treat infection, particularly large-scale treatment of all individuals in a geographic area;
  • facial cleanliness; and
  • environmental improvement, particularly improving access to water and sanitation.

Data reported to WHO by Member States for 2013 show that nearly 234 000 people with trachomatous trichiasis were provided with corrective surgery in that year, and 55 million people in endemic communities were treated with anti-chlamydial antibiotics to eliminate trachoma.

Elimination efforts need to continue to satisfy the target set by the World Health Assembly resolution (WHA 51.11), which is elimination of trachoma as a public health problem by 2020.

Particularly important will be the full engagement of other sectors involved in sanitation and socioeconomic development.

Further reading