Key trachoma facts and statistics

ICTC strongly encourages its members and all trachoma stakeholders to use these figures for consistency of messaging.

  • Trachoma is the world’s leading infectious cause of blindness and one of 20 neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that affect over one billion of the world’s poorest people - Source: WHO
  • 8 countries have been validated as having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem (Oman 2012, Morocco 2016, Cambodia 2017, Lao People’s Democratic Republic 2017, Mexico 2017, Ghana 2018, Nepal 2018, the Islamic Republic of Iran 2018) - Source: WHO Weekly Epidemiological Record, 29 June 2018
  • 9 countries may require interventions; investigation needed (Afghanistan, Angola, Botswana, Libya, Micronesia, Namibia, Nauru, Somalia, Venezuala) - Source: WHO Global Health Observatory 
  • Trachoma is responsible for the visual impairment or blindness of about 1.9 million people 
  • In 2017, 140 new districts received antibiotics. At the same time 250 districts globally reached elimination targets, resulting in 27 million people no longer requiring antibiotic treatment - Source: International Trachoma Initiative 2018
  • 201 districts within 11 countries are described as insecure. Global elimination will be reliant on ensuring hard to reach and at-risk populations including refugees, internally displaced peoples and indigenous and nomadic populations are a focus for securing continued national, regional and global progress - Source: GET2020 database as at 17 April 2018
  • Ethiopia is making significant gains in scaling up the SAFE strategy. However, as the global trachoma map shrinks, Ethiopia will carry a larger proportion of the global burden - Source: GET2020 database as at 17 April 2018
  • As of September 2018, 8 countries have now been validated for elimination by WHO since 2012 (Cambodia 2017, Ghana 2018, Islamic Republic of Iran 2018, Lao People’s Democratic Republic 2017, Mexico 2017, Morocco 2016, Nepal 2018, Oman 2012). For the first time this includes one country in each WHO region - Source: GET2020 database as at 17 April 2018

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WHO's Weekly Epidemiological Record (WER) also serves as an essential instrument for dissemination of epidemiological information.