Stronger-SAFE: Eliminating trachoma in Ethiopia

200 million people still live in trachoma-endemic regions and are at risk of becoming blind despite concerted international effort to tackle the disease. With the clock ticking towards the 2020 elimination goal, novel strategies are urgently needed to accelerate and strengthen the SAFE strategy.

Stronger-SAFE is a Wellcome Trust funded project that will increase our understanding of how trachoma is transmitted, and hopefully lead to the development and testing of new, more effective interventions and treatment approaches. The five year study is based in Ethiopia where the disease is highly endemic.

The World Health Organization Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 (GET2020) recommends the SAFE Strategy: Surgery for trichiasis, mass distribution of the antibiotic Azithromycin to treat chlamydial infection, Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvement to suppress transmission.   

Stronger-SAFE involves three phases:

Phase 1: Studying transmission in trachoma
Phase 2: Understanding and changing behaviour
Phase 3: Testing Novel Approaches to strengthen ‘A’ and ‘F&E’ in SAFE (Stronger-SAFE)

Primary LCNTDR organisation

External partners

  • Ethiopian Ministry of Health
  • The Oromia Regional Health Bureau
  • Fred Hollows Foundation,
  • Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute and
  • Monash University