World Sight Day, celebrated annually on the second Thursday of October, brings global awareness to vision impairment and blindness. According to the World Health Organization, at least one billion people have some form of preventable vision impairment.
Infectious diseases of the eye, including trachoma and onchocerciasis, lead to devastating disabilities in countries endemic for neglected tropical diseases. The Task Force works to eliminate these two causes of blindness.
Trachoma, a preventable bacterial infection, is the leading infectious cause of blindness and affects over 2 million people worldwide. Onchocerciasis, another preventable infection also known as river blindness, leads to skin irritation and potential blindness if left untreated; an estimated 20.9 million people are infected with onchocerciasis and at risk of blindness.
In honor of World Sight Day, The Task Force’s Neglected Tropical Diseases Support Center’s (NTD-SC) Leslie Sorensen, Associate Director of Programs, speaks with Dr. Esmael Habtamu, a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and the Co-Founder and Chief Executive Director of Eyu-Ethiopia, a non-governmental Eye Care Research, Training and Service Centre, to discuss his exceptional career fighting blinding trachoma in Ethiopia.
Join their conversation above.
The above piece was originally published on NTD-SC’s blog.
Adding to the World Sight Day celebrations, Task Force trachoma expert and director of The Task Force’s International Trachoma Initiative Dr. Paul Emerson participated in a panel on “Partnering to End the Neglect of Trachoma: A Global Health & Social Impact Live Session” with Pfizer’s Niesha Foster, Vice President of Product Access, and The Carter Center’s Kelly Callahan, Director of the Trachoma Control Program.