Trachoma - Ethiopia

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Trachoma - Ethiopia

Description

Keep people like Mulu S.A.F.E from the agony of sight-stealing Trachoma.

This programme aims to improve the quality of life of people living in the Amhara region of Ethiopia by reducing the prevalence of blinding Trachoma. For the past twenty years, the poorest 25% of the world’s population were at risk from this highly infectious but neglected tropical disease.

THE NEED

Worldwide 36 million people are blind, yet 75% of blindness is preventable or treatable. The world’s leading cause of preventable blindness is Trachoma, a bacterial infection that causes a roughening of the inner surface of the eyelids. This roughening can lead to pain in the eyes, breakdown of the outer surface or cornea of the eyes, and eventual blindness.

Ethiopia has more than 30% of Africa’s already disproportionately high Trachoma infection rates. The national prevalence of active trachoma among children aged 1-9 years is 40.1%. Amhara is particularly at risk due to its remote location, limited water resources and widespread poverty.

Lack of awareness coupled with poor hygiene, sanitation and limited access to clean water increases the risk of infection. Over 50% of people in the Amhara region have no household toilet with many village latrines in a state of disrepair. Women are more susceptible to the infectious Trachoma than men because of their higher exposure to young children who are typically the bearers of the disease.

WHAT YOUR GENEROUS SUPPORT CAN HELP FUND

Through your generosity, this programme is implementing a S.A.F.E. strategy to control and eliminate Trachoma: Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness, Environmental sanitation through the following means:

  • Training community workers on early detection of Trachoma.
  • Treating early cases of Trachoma with antibiotics.
  • Performing trichiasis surgeries on advanced cases of Trachoma to restore sight.
  • Increasing the availability of clean water and improving hygiene in toilets and latrines.

Additional information

Frequency

One-off, Every Week, Every 2 Weeks, Every 4 Weeks, Every Month, Quarterly, Annually

Mulu

Help keep people like Mulu S.A.F.E. from the agony of sight-stealing Trachoma.

“He will wipe every tear from their eyes… for the old order of things has passed away.” – Revelation 21:4

While we all watch the global response to COVID-19, in the world’s poorest places we celebrate the progress being made to reduce the spread of Trachoma! The old order of terrible suffering and blindness is passing away!

Going back less than twenty years, the poorest 25% of the world’s population were at risk from this highly infectious but neglected tropical disease. That’s quarter of the world’s population! [Source: World Health Organization, 2019]

But thanks to people like you, the risk has now reduced to 2% of the world’s population! This is remarkable progress, but Trachoma is still one of the world’s leading diseases that cause blindness.

Today, over a hundred million of the world’s poorest people continue to be at risk. They cannot afford to keep themselves S.A.F.E. But you can. Your Trachoma donation will be multiplied X8.

Trachoma is now confined to only the poorest pockets of humanity, like the village where Mulu lives in northern Ethiopia. Mulu is so grateful for all she has received, she celebrates with a coffee ceremony, served in a unique way in the Amhara Region: infused with frankincense and myrrh, in thanks for God’s great gift to the world in Jesus Christ.

Because she was infected with Trachoma, Mulu faced a lifetime of agony and blindness, but people like you have helped keep her S.A.F.E.

S.A.F.E. stands for Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness and Environment (clean water for sanitation.) Thanks to people like you, Mulu has been blessed with all these things.

Trachoma is a terrible way to go blind. Imagine your eyes swelling up so much, your eyelids fold inwards. With every blink, your own eyelids start cutting your eyes.

It hurts! It cuts! “There are so many tears,” Mulu says.

Each tiny cut leaves a scar. By the tens of thousands, those scars cloud over your eye.

Your vision dims… until you are blind.

Millions of people have been blinded for life by Trachoma, in great pain.

But be encouraged! Thanks to the efforts of people like you, the World Health Organisation announced last year that 13 countries have eliminated Trachoma as a public health problem.

Yet, despite this great progress, Trachoma is still common in Mulu’s part of the world. In her region of Ethiopia, nearly two-thirds of people have the bacteria.

That is why your commitment to Trachoma is so important. Please will you prayerfully consider sending a generous gift today to help more people like Mulu.

It was probably Mulu’s children who infected her with Trachoma. Flies carrying Trachoma are all over the children as they play and work with the animals. As the main caregivers, women are twice as likely to catch Trachoma.

Becoming blind would make Mulu terribly vulnerable, and deepen the level of poverty for herself and her family. She may be prone to accidents, be forced to rely on others and it would be difficult for her to carry out her everyday household duties or work on the farm.

Thanks to people like you, this has not happened to Mulu. Generous gifts have helped keep her S.A.F.E.

Please will you consider a gift to help others like Mulu who are at risk of losing their sight to Trachoma. They cannot afford to keep themselves S.A.F.E. Your Trachoma donation will be multiplied X8.

How is this remarkable X8 impact multiplication possible? It is because the valuable Zithromax antibiotics and Tetracycline eye ointment are both donated absolutely free by one of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies, Pfizer! What you are giving people who live in remote villages like Mulu, is the cost of getting this vital medication to them.

It really is like Biblical times in Mulu’s village, with the children herding goats, and the oxen ploughing the dusty red fields. Just down the hill from Mulu’s house is a brightly coloured building. A simple structure, with no electricity, but it is a very special place.

This building is there because of the past generosity of cbm supporters like you. It is the cbm-funded Outreach Clinic.

And on one very special day for Mulu, a cbm surgeon came to her village, to perform sight-saving surgery.

Mulu’s condition had reached the stage in Trachoma where the swelling of her eyelid has turned her eyelashes inwards. Her eyelashes had started to scratch her. Every week her neighbour used a werento to tweeze out Mulu’s newly-growing lashes. It is a painful process, but plucking them out spared her from the agony of slowly blinding herself with every cutting blink of her eyelashes.

In the Outreach Clinic, the surgery took place in a bare room, on a table with no electricity and the window open to let in as much light as possible. The surgeon, Abdurohman, prepared her sterile tools.

Outside the window, Mulu’s children watched intently as their Mum’s life changed in this very unusual operating theatre. Mulu’s husband held her hand as Abdurohman skilfully repaired her swollen, inverted eyelid.

Afterwards, with a patch on her eye, Mulu said, “I am so thankful. Before, people would need to walk to cities for treatment. I am so surprised I can get the treatment here so close to my home.”

It’s thanks to people like you, this is possible – in Mulu’s own village!

Some might ask why you would do so much for someone you will probably never meet. One answer, of course, is that Mulu is our sister, created by God, someone Jesus cares for very much. But there is another answer too.

Dollar-for-dollar, how else can you have such an enormous impact on people’s lives when you send a donation to battle Trachoma. Your donation is effectively multiplied X8, to keep people S.A.F.E.

S – Surgery - to repair ingrown, blinding eyelids.

A – Antibiotics - for a cbm field worker and ophthalmic nurse to visit remote villages.

F – Facial cleanliness - for promoting sanitary practices that cut transmission.

E – Environment - for safe, clean village water.

Today, please send your wonderful, world-changing Trachoma donation. Thank you for being so generous.

“I’m so happy,” says Mulu. “I can only say thank you. If I had the money I would repay you or even invite you for a coffee ceremony to show you my joy.”

People like you have been like the sweet perfume of frankincense and myrrh in this woman’s life, showing Mulu the love of Christ, and keeping her S.A.F.E.

The life-long suffering and blindness of Trachoma is almost over.

Thanks to generous people like you, the spread of Trachoma is down worldwide! The old order of terrible suffering and blindness is passing away, but the poorest of the poor are still vulnerable to this painful and permanently blinding disease. Please will you prayerfully consider sending a Trachoma donation to keep people like Mulu S.A.F.E. Your impact will be multiplied X8!