DUBAI, (Pakistan Point News - 15th Jun, 2021) Noor Dubai Foundation renews its partnership with The Carter Centre to wipe out trachoma, the leading infectious cause of blindness, as part of its continued focus on the global fight against neglected tropical diseases (NTDs).
Since 2013, the two organisations have assisted Ethiopia in the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem in 29% of the Amhara region, known to be the most trachoma-endemic location in the world.
Dr. Manal Taryam, board member and CEO of the Noor Dubai Foundation, said, "In these modern times, no one should suffer from trachoma, an excruciating yet entirely preventable disease. Noor Dubai is proud to continue its partnership with The Carter Centre, Ethiopia Ministry of Health and the Amhara Regional Health Bureau and remains committed to empowering the communities to wipe out this ancient disease from the Amhara region."
Trachoma is responsible for the visual impairment of an estimated 1.9 million people, of whom 1.2 million are irreversibly blind, with 136.9 million people worldwide living in trachoma-endemic districts. Trachoma can destroy the economic well-being of entire communities, keeping affected families trapped in poverty as the disease passes from one generation to the next.
Noor Dubai’s newest four-year commitment will contribute to the implementation of annual mass drug administration (MDA) in Amhara, which has safely resumed outreach after the COVID-19 pandemic briefly suspended most global health interventions in 2020.
Over the next four years, the Noor Dubai-Carter Centre collaboration aims to deliver 43 million doses of the antibiotic Zithromax (donated by Pfizer), projected to impact approximately 14.3 million people. This will contribute to Amhara’s effort to implement the World Health Organisation-endorsed SAFE strategy: Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness, and Environmental improvement. Additionally, the partnership is slated to carry out prevalence surveys to assess impact and support training sessions for more than 74,000 local health workers by 2025.
Paige Alexander, CEO of The Carter Centre, said, "The elimination of trachoma as a public health problem in Amhara is difficult work that will not be completed quickly, and we are so grateful to have Noor Dubai’s commitment to stay by our side on this long road. We will reach the goal of elimination together, and when we do, we will celebrate together."
The Carter Centre began scaling up programme activities in the region in 2003 in response to the enormity of the trachoma problem in the region. The newest chapter of the Noor Dubai-Carter Centre partnership builds on a collaboration that launched in 2013.
Together with the Ethiopia Ministry of Health, Amhara Regional Health Bureau, many other collaborating partners, and thousands upon thousands of frontline health workers, the Noor Dubai Foundation support has contributed to the elimination of trachoma as a public health problem in 29% of the Amhara region; the delivery of 87 million doses of Pfizer-donated Zithromax; the completion of eyelid surgery for about 356,620 people to prevent irreversible blindness; and the trachoma training and capacity development of 49,816 health workers, 37,032 teachers, and 7,209 surgeons and supervisors.