You are here


Bild: Antibiotika gegen Trachom werden verteilt

Game over for trachoma

Trachoma is caused by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and the most widespread infectious cause of blindness worldwide. It is a smear infection that an be transmitted through dirty hands, shared towels, and flies. The advanced stage of trachoma is referred to as trachomatous trichiasis (TT). TT is very painful, because the eyelashes turn inward, scratching the cornea each time the patient blinks and, over time, damaging the cornea irreversibly. Young children and women are the most severely affected group.

LIGHT FOR THE WORLD is part of a worldwide initiative aimed at ensuring that by the year 2020 nobody loses their sight due to trachoma. We supported the trachoma mapping in the Tigray and Somali regions of Ethiopia. We are also supporting the implementation of  the S.A.F.E – strategy in the Tigray and Oromia Regions. S.A.F.E is recommended by the WHO and combines the following measures:

  • S – Surgery (eyelid operations)
  • A – Antibiotics
  • F – Facial Cleanliness (facial hygiene)
  • E – Environment (improvement of environmental conditions)

The growing population of Ethiopia needs a sharp increase in the number of trained ophthalmologists. In rural areas in particular, medical eye care is often unavailable.

Number of resident ophthalmologists: 80 in 2005, 132 plus 27 in training in 2016 


Karte von Äthiopien
    • Area: 1,133,380 km2
    • Population: 94 million
    • Life expectancy: 63.6 years
    • Ophthalmologists: 132
    • Ophthalmologists supported by us: 20
Nemera Woyessa

Country Representative for Ethiopia: Nemera Woyessa

+251 (0) 115580458
n.woyessa [at]

Where we work