Noor Dubai Foundation joins International Coalition for Trachoma Control

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DUBAI, 24th April, 2019 (WAM) -- Noor Dubai Foundation joined the International Coalition for Trachoma Control, ICTC, a major form of Neglected Tropical Disease targeted for control in the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal number 3: Good Health and Wellbeing.

The ICTC is the largest global umbrella organisation comprising 34 members, including non-governmental, donors, the private sector, and academic organisations, that contribute to global efforts to eliminate trachoma by supporting the implementation of the World Health Organisation's, WHO, control strategy.

Trachoma is the leading cause of blindness worldwide, with 232 million people at risk in Africa and Asia, and over 4 million at immediate risk of blindness from carrying the disease. If left untreated, the disease causes irreversible blindness as a result of corneal opacity from inturned eyelashes. Children are most prone to infection, followed by women, who are affected at nearly twice the rate of men. The disease can be controlled by lid surgery, use of medicines, and improved personal and environmental hygiene.

As part of Noor Dubai Foundation’s international outreach programme, it has been working in one of the most trachoma-endemic regions in the world, the Amhara region of Ethiopia, in collaboration with the Carter Centre, by employing the WHO-recommended SAFE strategy for trachoma control and offering prevention and treatment in a simple and cost-effective manner.

From 2012 to date, the Foundation has distributed 72 million doses of medicine, conducted over 330,000 lid surgeries, provided over 250,000 latrines in Amhara and trained over 69,677 teachers, health workers, and surgeons through the Trachoma Elimination Programme.

Dr Manal Taryam, CEO of Noor Dubai Foundation, highlighted the importance of joining the ICTC, saying, "Through its large network of members, the ICTC will provide opportunities for the Foundation to network with peers from organisations worldwide and share best practices in our journey towards achieving the WHO global elimination of trachoma by the year 2020. Noor Dubai has been committed to fighting trachoma since 2012 and will continue to strive towards the global initiative of a world free from avoidable forms of blindness."