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Ophthalmic Physiol Opt. 2020 Feb 3. doi: 10.1111/opo.12666. [Epub ahead of print]

Milestones in the fight to eliminate trachoma.

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Dana Center for Preventive Ophthalmology, Wilmer Eye Institute, Johns Hopkins Medicine, Baltimore, USA.



Trachoma, a chronic conjunctivitis that can result in vision loss from trichiasis, is targeted for global elimination by 2020. Several milestones in the long process towards elimination are noteworthy for the impact they have had on changing or accelerating progress. The purpose of this review is to describe the milestones and the impact they have had both for trachoma elimination and beyond.


Eight milestones are presented. They are discovery of the causative agent; development of a clinical grading scheme; establishment of the World Health Organization Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020; setting targets that define elimination; building an evidence base for trichiasis surgery; azithromycin donation programme; use of the SAFE strategy (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness, and Environmental improvement); and The Global Trachoma Mapping Project.


These milestones have significantly pushed the progress towards elimination. Despite challenges to achieving the goal of elimination by 2020, there is continued commitment into the future to ensure that this preventable cause of blindness is no longer a threat.


Chlamydia trachomatis ; azithromycin; facial cleanliness; global mapping; trachoma


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