Reposted from

The Coalition for Operational Research is pleased to announce the recipients of six grants for Operational research on tailored endgame strategies for persistent and recrudescent active trachoma. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, trachoma is the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness of infectious origin. The target of global elimination of trachoma is achievable, but there are a small minority of districts, in a few countries, in which the treatment strategy has not achieved the elimination goal as expected.

These news studies will be conducted to better understand the underlying causes of persistent and/or re-emerging trachoma. The studies will use new diagnostic indicators to help confirm where trachoma transmission is ongoing, as well as consider alternative approaches to find, treat and measure any populations that may have not participated in previous rounds of treatment. Financial support for these grants was generously provided by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (Gates Foundation). Special thanks to the International Trachoma Initiative, World Health Organization (WHO) Headquarters and WHO-AFRO Regional Office.

“The advancement and acceleration of trachoma elimination globally has not come without some barriers and challenges, and so for these reasons USAID is pleased to contribute to the design and funding of these projects investigating these final-mile challenges,” said Joe Shott, Health Scientist, Division of Neglected Tropical Diseases, U.S. Agency for International Development.

“Disease elimination is challenging, but these six country-led studies will generate high-quality evidence to shape the endgame strategies for trachoma elimination. Importantly, these studies will generate local solutions tailored to address the unique challenges faced by each country,” said Simon Brooker, Deputy Director, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Congratulations to these recipients:

  • Dr Fikreab Kebede – Ethiopia – A study to confirm persistence/recrudescence of trachoma and understand factors facilitating on-going transmission in six districts across Oromia and SNNP regions of Ethiopia
  • Dr. Titus Watitu – Kenya – A study to confirm, understand causes of and where applicable evaluate interventions to address trachoma recrudescence or persistence in 6 sub-counties of Kajiado, and Narok Counties, Kenya
  • Dr. Rapheal Opon – Uganda – The role of infection and antibody data for improved understanding of recrudescent active trachoma in Nebbi district of Uganda
  • Dr Consity Mwale – Zambia – Modified approach in trachoma surveys in Zambia
  • Professor Epee Emilienne – Cameroon – Serologic and PCR confirmation of ophthalmic examination during trachoma impact surveys in northern Cameroon
  • Dr Nicholas Olobio – Nigeria – Factors affecting the persistence of active trachoma in Silame and Binji Local Government Areas of Sokoto State, Nigeria