Trachoma is a disease of the eye caused by infection with the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis that can cause irreversible blindness. It remains endemic in many tropical countries and there are currently around 1.9 million people worldwide who have been blinded or visually impaired by the disease. Progress has been made towards elimination in recent years, but questions remain concerning particular contexts for mass drug administration (MDA), hygiene and environmental factors.

School children walking in Guinea
Credit Dominic Chavez - World Bank

A number of countries have been validated by WHO as having eliminated trachoma as a public health problem since 2011 based on expanded control measures under the “SAFE” strategy, which stands for Surgery for advanced disease, Antibiotics to clear C. trachomatis infection, Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvement to reduce transmission. The effects of the strategy can vary by trachoma endemicity and for some countries, it has been difficult to achieve elimination status despite years of MDA treatment.

Global Data Platform Scoping and Feasibility Study

In collaboration with the WHO and global trachoma research community, IDDO is assessing the feasibility of developing a data platform for trachoma interventional studies. Funded by the Hilton Foundation, part of this scoping exercise includes a review of evidence contained in clinical studies to assess the efficacy of Antibiotic treatment, Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvement for trachoma elimination (the preventive components of the SAFE strategy).

As part of a concerted effort towards global elimination, the development of a global data platform could generate additional evidence to answer important questions in the journey towards trachoma elimination. Specifically, this scoping study will assess the existing trials aimed at measuring the prevalence  of active trachoma and epidemiological data over time following MDA alone or combined with FE interventions.

If feasible, building a global trachoma data platform will require extensive collaboration. We are looking to engage with stakeholders and leaders in the trachoma research community as early as possible to ensure that the design, purpose and future output of a data platform meets the interests and fulfils the needs of potential partners, researchers and policy makers.

Please contact for further information about this scoping project.