World NTD Day 2023

World NTD Day is an annual event to raise awareness about the need to eliminate Neglected Tropical Diseases. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the progress made by the global community to help the 1.7 billion people whose lives are threatened every day.

At Orbis, thanks to the support of the Qatar Fund for Development (QFFD), we’re working with our partners in Ethiopia to tackle an NTD called trachoma, which is a blinding eye infection that is thousands of years old! The project falls under the Qatar Creating Vision (QCV) initiative and was launched in April 2022.

What Is Trachoma?

Trachoma - a painful bacterial eye infection - is one of the most prevalent Neglected Tropical Diseases. The burden remains high in rural Ethiopia as medical support can be hard to reach.

Repeat trachoma infections can lead to trachoma trichiasis, an even more painful condition in which scarring causes the eyelid to turn in on itself and the eyelashes to scratch the eye, resulting in permanent vision loss without timely treatment. It is also the world’s leading cause of infectious blindness and far more prevalent in women than men, with women accounting for 70% of cases. 1.9 million people are blind or have visual impairment due to trachoma around the world.

Patient Aylito, who has a cataract, looks off to the side

Aylito had trachoma trichiasis and required surgery

How Can Trachoma Be Eradicated?

Although trachoma is highly contagious, it is preventable and treatable through the World Health organisation’s SAFE strategy, which uses both medical and environmental interventions:

  • Surgery,
  • Antibiotics,
  • Facial Cleanliness,
  • Environmental improvements.

A grader checks a man's eyes from trachoma and other eye conditions


The Qatar Creating Vision programme in Ethiopia, supported by the Qatar Fund for Development and implemented by Orbis, will be tackling trachoma and other sight loss conditions, with the aim of delivering tens of thousands of services, including screenings, antibiotics, spectacles, and surgeries, to communities.

Alongside the delivery of services, case finders will be trained to identify trachoma and teachers to recognise refractive error, to find more people struggling with eye conditions. Vision loss can jeopardise educations and livelihoods, therefore community-based outreach programmes will help to direct people to the services they deserve.

Since starting in April 2022, the programme has delivered...

Meet Our Heroes!

We work with some amazing individuals who are dedicated to stopping trachoma in its tracks! Find out what inspires them to do their jobs below.

To Learn More About Our Work With the Qatar Fund for Development, Click Below!

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