The World Health Organisation has a global goal to eliminate trachoma by 2020 (now 2021 thanks to COVID-19). It is the world’s leading infectious cause of irreversible blindness. Australia remains the last developed country in the world where this disease still persists. It is prevalent in remote Indigenous communities where living standards are inadequate, where there is a lack of functional, maintained washing facilities, and where homes are chronically overcrowded. Current personal and community hygiene practices allow the frequent spreading of infected secretions from one child to another, and although trachoma is easily treated with antibiotics, it is the frequent recurrent infections that damage the eyelids and cause blindness.
To stop trachoma transmission and to stop trachoma bouncing back, environmental improvements are urgently required. We must make sure all children in these communities can keep their faces clean, and that they have safe, functional washing facilities.
EndTrachoma is a project that unites Rotary clubs across Australia to work towards eliminating trachoma by preventing the spread of infection that causes this avoidable blindness project to commemorate Rotary Australia’s centenary year in 2021. It operates under 'Nourish Our Communities' which has DGR status and allows for the project to involve all Districts for the number of years required.
Information can be found at http://www.endtrachoma2020.org.au.
Program Representatives: Rob McGuirk (Melbourne) Kerry Kornhauser OAM (Melbourne), PDG Murry Verso (Williamstown), Sandi Fulcher - Project Administration Coordinator (Chadstone/East Malvern)