Trachoma – Nigeria

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Trachoma – Nigeria


Help protect children and adults from the agony of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) like Trachoma. 

This programme aims to improve the quality of life of people living in Nigeria 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.


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.

Water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) are critical in the prevention of Neglected Tropical Diseases.

In Nigeria, there are 8.7 million people at risk of Trachoma where, if left untreated, the disease causes eyelids to turn inwards resulting in pain in the eyes and eventual blindness.

There is an inequitable distribution of water in most communities, as a result, people in such areas resort to fetching water from unsafe sources such as rivers, streams, ponds, etc. The community members on most occasion do not know how to purify the water for end use. Lack of awareness coupled with poor hygiene, sanitation and limited access to clean water increases the risk of infection. 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.


Through your generosity, this programme uses the S.A.F.E. strategy to help eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases: Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness, Environmental sanitation through the following means:

  • Training community workers on early detection of Trachoma and other Neglected Tropical Diseases.
  • Building community awareness on the importance of safe water and good hygiene behaviours in preventing Trachoma.
  • Increasing the availability of clean water through WASH and improving hygiene in toilets and latrines.
  • Building/repairing inclusive community water points (boreholes), and training and equipping community members to manage and maintain the water points.

Additional information


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


Please help protect people, like Sha-Atu, in Nigeria from the agony of avoidable blindness.

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

There has been incredible progress made to reduce the spread of Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) in the world’s poorest places! Thanks to generous people like you, the old order of terrible suffering and blindness is passing away!

Less than twenty years ago, the poorest 25% of the world’s population were at risk of contracting Trachoma, a highly infectious but neglected tropical disease. A quarter of the world’s population!

But thanks to people like you, the risk has now reduced to just 2% of the world’s population! This is remarkable progress, and something to really celebrate, but Trachoma is still one of the world’s leading neglected tropical diseases that causes blindness.

Today, over one 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.

Trachoma is now confined to only the poorest pockets of humanity, like the village where Sha-Atu lives in Nigeria.

Sha-Atu is a loving mother of nine children. She contracted Trachoma a few years ago. She has struggled to see, and was in constant pain and discomfort. Because of her suffering it was difficult for her to care for her family, and to earn a living.

Because she was infected with Trachoma, Sha-Atu faced a lifetime of agony and blindness, but generosity from people like you has 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 generous people like you, Sha-Atu has been blessed with all these things.

Trachoma is a terrible way to go blind. Imagine your eyelids folding inwards. With every blink, your own eyelids start cutting your eyes.

“Trachoma was very painful, my eyes were very teary. I could hardly keep my eyes open, and it was always very painful and itchy. I couldn’t help it, I kept touching my eyes which made it worse.” Sha-Atu 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 please be encouraged! Thanks to the generosity of people like you, the World Health Organisation has announced that 13 countries have eliminated Trachoma as a public health problem.

Yet, despite this great progress, Trachoma is still common in Sha-Atu’s part of the world.

Please will you prayerfully consider sending a generous gift today to help more people like Sha-Atu, and her children, to be protected from the agony of Neglected Tropical Diseases.

It was probably Sha-Atu’s precious 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 Sha-Atu terribly vulnerable, and deepen the level of poverty for herself and her family.

But thanks to people like you, this has not happened to Sha-Atu. Generous gifts have helped keep her S.A.F.E. allowing her to receive specialist surgery to protect her eyes from further damage and to relieve the pain.

This specialist surgery ‘flips’ the eyelid of people with advanced Trachoma, preventing their eye lashes from scratching against the eye surface, relieving their pain and preventing further scarring and damage to their eyes. 

Sha-Atu’s condition had reached this advanced stage where her eyelids had turned her eyelashes inwards. Her eyelashes had started to scratch her. Every week she needed help to tweeze out her 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.

Shu-Atu exclaims, “I was very happy when a cbm-funded field worker told me I could have a surgery to correct this. I want to thank the generous people who give to cbm so that I could have surgery as I could never afford it myself.”

Surgery was life-changing for her – but without access to antibiotics, clean water and improved hygiene practices, Sha-Atu, her children, and her village remain at risk of re-contracting Trachoma. 

Access to clean water in villages like Sha-Atu’s can be a real challenge. Boreholes, used to provide clean water for the village, are often broken and in need of repair. This is what happened in Sha-Atu’s village. The only place to get water was from an open well where there is great risk of contamination or pollution.

As part of implementing S.A.F.E., your support, along with support from cbm’s local partner, is helping to repair broken boreholes to provide clean fresh water to families like Sha-Atu’s. Clean water and good hygiene practices are vital to stop the spread of Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Please will you prayerfully consider sending a gift to help people like Sha-Atu, and her children, who are at risk of permanently losing their sight. They cannot afford to keep themselves S.A.F.E.

By sending a generous gift you will be helping to protect people like Sha-Atu from the agony of avoidable blindness.

Some might ask why you do so much for someone you will probably never meet. One answer, of course, is that Sha-Atu 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 gift to reduce the spread of preventable blindness. Your gift is effectively multiplied x8, to keep people S.A.F.E.

S – Surgery - to repair the damage caused by Neglected Tropical Diseases.

A – Antibiotics - for cbm-funded field and health workers to visit remote villages.

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

E – Environment - to drill new boreholes and install clean water sources capable of protecting entire villages from the ravages of Neglected Tropical Diseases.

Past support from people like you has been life-changing for Sha-Atu, for her children and her village. They have been shown the love of Christ. They have been kept S.A.F.E.

Because of people like you, the life-long suffering and blindness of Trachoma is almost over.

“I’m so happy,” says Sha-Atu. “I can only say thank you!!”

Thank you for caring for people like Sha-Atu, and her children, where preventable Neglected Tropical Diseases are still destroying sight in such a painful way. And thank you for sending your life-changing gift today.

Thanks to past support the spread of Trachoma is falling worldwide! The old order of terrible suffering and blindness is passing away, but the people living in poverty in Nigeria are still vulnerable to the agony of permanently blinding  Neglected Tropical Diseases. Please will you prayerfully consider sending a gift to keep people like Sha-Atu S.A.F.E. Thank you.