Women and son hugging.

Treating blinding diseases

Country: Democratic Republic of Congo and Nigeria
Category: Saving sight

More than 1 billion people worldwide are affected by “Neglected Tropical Diseases”, which flourish in conditions of poverty – poor housing, unsafe water and lack of healthcare. These diseases cause pain and disability to millions of people.

The eye infection trachoma, for example, causes eyelashes to turn inwards, causing itching, excruciating pain and finally blindness if it is not treated. Another condition, River Blindness (onchocerciasis), also leads to permanent blindness without treatment.

And yet effective treatments for these diseases are available and can cost as little as 16p per person. In the case of River Blindness, pharmaceutical company Merck and Co donates the drug Mectizan® for CBM to distribute to people who need it.

CBM works in partnership with a range of local and international NGOs on the frontline against these diseases:

  • Identifying people at risk of the disease;
  • Distributing medicines to treat them;
  • Educating communities about how to protect themselves from NTDs.
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