Orbis teams are fighting trachoma in Ethiopia

World NTD Day

World NTD Day is an annual event to raise awareness and demand action for the control and elimination of neglected tropical diseases. It is also an opportunity to celebrate the progress made by the community to help the 1.7 billion people whose lives are threatened every day.

The next World NTD Day will be celebrated on January 30, 2022 and we're joining 300+ organizations to help raise awareness and call on the global community to work together to eliminate neglected tropical diseases. Read about how we marked World NTD Day 2021 here.

What Are Neglected Tropical Diseases?


Buruli ulcerMycetoma, chromoblastomycosis and other deep mycoses
Chagas diseaseOnchocerciasis
Dengue and ChikungunyaRabies
Guinea worm diseaseScabies and other ectoparasites
Foodborne trematodiasesSoil-transmitted helminthiases
Human African trypanosomiasisSnakebite envenoming
Lymphatic filariasisYaws

The neglected tropical disease that Orbis primarily focuses on is trachoma.

Trachoma – a painful bacterial eye infection – is one of those most prevalent neglected tropical diseases and a major focus of our work globally. We recently celebrated the news that trachoma has decreased by 91% since 2002 in endemic areas.

This is all thanks to the collaborative efforts of the eye health community and those who support it, helping get clean water, sanitation, education and preventative antibiotics to those at risk.

But the fight is far from over! With the right tools and knowledge in place, we can make an neglected tropical diseases like blinding trachoma history.

What Is Trachoma?

Trachoma thrives in overpopulated rural areas with poor sanitation and limited access to clean water. It’s a disease of poverty that affects the poorest of the poor. Because trachoma is transmitted through close personal contact, poor hygiene practices and by flies spreading the infection from person to person, it quickly infects entire families and whole communities.

Trachoma in Numbers

Trachoma Stories From the Field

How Orbis Is Working to Support Trachoma Prevention and Control

Thanks to the support of partners and donors, we’ve effectively eliminated trachoma in 38 districts of Ethiopia, freeing entire communities from the grip of this terrible disease. Here's how we're addressing trachoma, particularly in rural areas where there's limited access to healthcare.


We're training a whole host of outreach workers in hard-to-reach areas of Ethiopia to deliver the surgeries and treatments needed to fight the disease.


Since 2008 we've helped distribute more than 94.2 million doses of antibiotics to treat and prevent trachoma. The latest mass drug administration (MDA) took place at the end of 2021, with extra planning and precautions needed to combat the COVID-19 pandemic, our team in Ethiopia worked harder than ever to protect families from this blinding disease.

The antibiotic that we use is Zithromax, which is produced by Pfizer. Pfizer kindly donates all the Zithromax that the Orbis team needs to end this disease.

This latest MDA continued the momentum of our work from December 2020 when our teams were able to administer more than 7.5 million doses of trachoma-fighting antibiotics across 89 districts in just one month, despite significant challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.


We're building awareness of the infection and promoting better hygiene through educating community health workers, health extension workers, teachers, local women’s group leaders and community leaders about eye health.

This World NTD Day, we'd like to pay a special thanks to all of our volunteers, partners and supporters, who have been instrumental in the fight against trachoma around the world.

With your ongoing support, our goal is to eliminate this terrible blinding eye disease.

Donate Now

Help us eliminate trachoma in Ethiopia and around the world.

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