The bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis is secreted in ocular or nasal discharge, and infection is easily spread through contact with an infected person’s hands or clothes, or by way of flies.
The prevalence of active trachoma (TF and TI) is highest among young children. Repeated infections over time lead to disabling sequelae (trichiasis and corneal opacity) which are more prevalent in older age groups and eventually lead to irreversible blindness.
The SAFE strategy consists of multiple interventions designed to reduce transmission, treat infection, and correct disease sequelae. Endorsed by the World Health Organization, SAFE consists of: Surgery to correct trichiasis; Antibiotics to reduce active infection; and Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvements to reduce the spread of trachoma.