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Working Together to End Trachoma by 2020

Posted on May 2, 2017
Topic: Eye Care, Research

Can we eliminate trachoma by 2020? Cautious optimism was in the air at the April 2017 Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTD) summit in Geneva, Switzerland. Hosted by the World Health Organization (WHO), attendees included Bill Gates, WHO Director-General Margaret Chan, and other leaders in the field, including ICO Board members.

“If we are able to operate on all the patients with trichiasis and prevent them from developing new corneal scarring and blindness, we would end all new cases of blindness from trachoma by 2020,” said ICO President Prof. Hugh Taylor, a featured speaker at the summit.

With this once in a lifetime opportunity to end a major blinding eye disease, the ICO has asked each national ophthalmic society in a country where trachoma is still present to eliminate trichiasis in the next three years by looking at the trichiasis surgery programs in their country and doing whatever they can to mobilize ophthalmologists and harness the necessary resources.

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