By Elisa Baring, Director, Programs
Over the past two days, partners working in support of trachoma elimination efforts in Tanzania came together for an annual review and planning meeting. Donors – UK Department for International Development (DFID), the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Trust, the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, and the END Fund joined Sightsavers, Helen Keller International, IMA World Health, Kilimanjaro Center for Community Ophthalmology (KCCO), SIMAVI, and the Kongwa Trachoma Project to discuss ongoing control efforts and future plans to reach elimination goals.
Tanzania implemented the trachoma SAFE (surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness, and environmental improvement) strategy in 1999 and in 2014/2015, with the support of the above mentioned donors, an expanded effort to prioritize surgical interventions, face washing efforts, and environmental change was put in place. Tanzania has an ambitious goal of eliminating trachoma as a public health issue and with the commitment of the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly and Children and the NTD control program efforts are well underway to reach those ambitious goals.