Eliminating Trachoma

Meet Tseganesh, a Health Extension Worker from Southern Ethiopia.

Orbis train Health Extension Workers in Ethiopia to detect and assess eye problems - especially Trachoma, cataracts and refractive error. These health workers, then pass on their knowledge by travelling from community to community, teaching the local people how to prevent and control avoidable blindness.

After studying Health Extension at college in Dilla, Tseganesh returned home to the rural district of Gola, 500km west of the capital, Addis Ababa.

It was important to Tseganesh to use her skills and knowledge to give back to her community, so she worked in the local health centre. After a year, the opportunity arose to develop her skills, so she undertook basic eye care training by Orbis.

Tseganesh at work in her community.

Using her new education, Tseganesh ran a group at the local Health Centre, teaching the other healthcare workers the importance of basic eye care.

Ethiopians supporting WHO's SAFE Strategy

WHO SAFE Strategy to eliminate Trachoma

Now, Tseganesh educates her community on how to prevent the spread of bacterial eye diseases like Trachoma. During outreach programmes, she goes from house to house to screen for eye disease and teach the community about the importance of good personal hygiene to prevent infection. Once a year, during these house-to-house visits, Health Extension Workers also support with the distribution of antibiotics that treat trachoma infections. Additionally, Tseganesh and her colleagues attend public gatherings to educate others on how to stop the spread of Trachoma.

Mass Drug Administration

Antibiotics are vital in preventing the spread of the blinding, painful eye disease, trachoma, the leading infectious cause of blindness worldwide. In Ethiopia, dedicated health workers, like Tseganesh play an important role in distributing these antibiotics across the community and ensuring that everyone receives the annual antibiotic that treats the trachoma infection.

Tseganesh has served her community for many years and dreams of seeing a positive change in the health sector.

My wish is that the peo­ple would have the nec­es­sary knowl­edge on pre­ven­tion of tra­choma and that we will have a coun­try free from it. ”

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