August 2013 - CBM and partner 'VISION 2020 Support Programme' have completed trachoma mapping under the Global Trachoma Mapping Project (GTMP) in the CBM supported Nigerian states of Kano, Jigawa and FCT. This will assist in assessing a problem which may affect up to 230 million people in Africa.
Trachoma leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide
An estimated 230 million people live in areas that are either confirmed or suspected to be endemic for trachoma in Africa. We know that the distribution of the disease varies greatly across the continent with blindness or visual impairment most commonly found in the Sahel of West Africa and the savannahs of East and Central Africa.
Trachoma is the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide. The WHO recommended strategy to eliminate blinding trachoma by the year 2020 is based on a combination of interventions known as SAFE:
- Surgery to correct trichiasis
- Antibiotics to treat infection by the bacterium that causes trachoma
- Facial cleanliness
- Environmental improvement to reduce transmission
Researchers, donors and implementers have long acknowledged the importance of mapping the distribution of trachoma to help target interventions to areas in greatest need. There is an unprecedented surge in well-designed and well-coordinated mapping activities.
Global Trachoma Mapping Project (GTMP)
In this context, CBM and our partner VISION 2020 Support Programme have now (August 2013) completed trachoma mapping under the Global Trachoma Mapping Project (GTMP) in the CBM supported Nigerian states of Kano, Jigawa and FCT; a very successful exercise despite the current instability in the Northern States. The mapping results will help CBM and our parters to scale up SAFE interventions in areas of need. We also plan to support mapping in Zambia and DRC.
As survey activities are scaled up in areas where data are lacking, estimates will continue to be refined assisting the Global Alliance for the elimination of blinding trachoma (GET2020) to make this ancient disease history.
We also have started preparing for trachoma mapping in Zambia (with GTMP) and DRC (with RTI).
Findings assist is assessing problem
"The findings revealed by this rapidly increasing pool of data are important because they assist in the assessment of the distribution and magnitude of the problem, which is crucial for the planning and implementation of preventive, curative and surgical services to the people most in need," says Prof. KH Martin Kollmann, chair of the International Coalition for Trachoma Control(ICTC).
"Providing a commonly accepted, permanently updated and readily available source of data, the Global Atlas of Trachoma (GAT) not only underpins a sense of urgency but also helps to prioritize and coordinate activities between national programmes, donors and implementing partners such as represented at the ICTC."
- The global atlas of trachoma: an important tool in the fight against infectious blindness (Medical News Today - 8 Aug 2013)
- The Geographical Distribution and Burden of Trachoma in Africa (PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases)