Sightsavers Plays Major Role In Eliminating Trachoma From Ghana

Sightsavers is an international nonprofit which seeks to prevent avoidable blindness. They have operations in some of the poorest nations in the world where they treat eye conditions like cataracts. They also provide care for diseases like river blindness and trachoma which can rob someone of their ability to see. Additionally, they promote people with disabilities such as by providing vocational training and advocating for their rights.

According to one of Sightsavers lastest blog entries trachoma is an eye disease which has now been eliminated in Ghana. This is the first nation in sub-Saharan Africa which can make this claim. Sightsavers has been providing their services in Ghana for the past 18 years. When they first entered this nation in 2000 it was estimated that around 2.8 million people were at risk of this eye disease. The World Health Organisation declared on June 13, 2018, that trachoma had been eliminated in Ghana as a public health problem.

There are still about 200 million people in the world, in 41 nations, who are at risk of developing trachoma. The results out of Ghana show that there is hope in eliminating this eye disease globally. Simon Bush it the director of neglected tropical diseases at Sightsavers. He said that by working with other organizations and governments, determination, and a lot of hard work it is possible to eliminate trachoma globally. This is a very painful eye disease which can be both prevented and treated for those people who live in areas of the world susceptible to this disease. He said that it was nonprofits like Sightsavers, governments, pharmaceutical companies, and the people in the communities in which his organization operates that eliminated this disease.

Trachoma is an infectious disease. Sightsavers say it can be spread by both flies as well as people touching each other. The most common reasons for it developing in an area are a lack of access to clean water, sanitation, and impoverished conditions. Trachoma begins as a bacterial infection. If it is not treated the eyelids of the person with trachoma begin to turn upwards. This leads to their eyelashes continuously scratching the surface of their eye and eventually blindness.

Four times as many women as men are infected with trachoma. A midwife, Ayishetu Abdulai, came down with this disease and said it made her all but unable to earn a living. She was treated by Sightsavers and afterward she can see once again.

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