Trachoma control as a vehicle toward international development and achievement of the millennium development goals
Caused by bacterial infection, trachoma is the leading infectious cause of blindness in the world and is currently endemic in approximately 53 countries. Estimates report that 2.2 million people are visually impaired as a result of trachoma, 1.2 million of whom are irreversibly blind, and another 7.3 million persons are living with the late, disabling stages of the disease . Trachoma is exacerbated by poverty, unsanitary living conditions, crowding, and the eye-seeking fly Musca sorbens. The World Health Organization (WHO) has endorsed the SAFE strategy for trachoma control, which stands for surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness, and environmental changes. The latest reports indicate that at least 110 million people live in areas where trachoma is suspected to be endemic and implementation of SAFE is necessary .