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Wednesday, May 22, 2024

Nigeria, 15 others get $36.5m to eliminate trachoma

Nigeria and 15 other countries have been boosted with $36.5m in new funding, to eliminate trachoma in their countries.

Dr. Joy Shu’aibu, Country Director for Sightsavers, an international development organisation, made this known in a statement on Thursday in Abuja.

Trachoma is a neglected tropical disease, which begins as a bacterial infection that affects the eye, which causes vision loss and permanent blindness.

Shu’aibu said the funding was under its “Accelerate Programme” aimed at eliminating the disease by 2027.

She said, “Trachoma is a horrific disease, which stops people from earning a living, growing food, cooking and caring for their families and going to school.

“People describe the pain as like having sand or thorns in their eyes.”

“Through Accelerate Programme, Sightsavers was able to support the government of Republic of Benin, to eliminate trachoma in 2023.

“And this new funding will supercharge our support for 16 more countries, including Nigeria to finally end the scourge of trachoma.”

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Clinical signs of trachoma

She added that the additional funds would extend the Accelerate Programme, which began in 2018, as part of The Audacious Project, hosted by TED.

According to her, the new funding is from international donors, which include the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation.

Others are: The ELMA Foundation and, for Zambia, The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust as well as Sightsavers own contribution.

The 12 countries targeted to eliminate trachoma as a public health problem by 2027 are: Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Côte d’Ivoire, Guinea-Bissau, Guinea, Namibia, Senegal, Tanzania, Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The fund, she added, would also contribute support to Ethiopia, which carries world’s highest burden of the disease in the world.

Sightsavers has more than 70 years’ experience working with governments in more than 30 countries to control and eliminate NTDs. (NAN)

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Justina Auta
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