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The Carter Center - Trachoma Control Program

This page is part of our report on The Carter Center.

Published: 2009

What do they do?

The Carter Center's trachoma control programs utilize the SAFE Strategy (see our full report on the SAFE strategy) to control trachoma, a disease that can lead to vision impairment and blindness as well as pain (more on trachoma).1

Carter Center trachoma efforts are focused on six countries in Africa: Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Sudan.2

Evidence of effectiveness

General evidence on this program type

For a more in-depth discussion, see our full report on the SAFE strategy. Rigorous evidence of effectiveness is fairly strong (though with some concerns) for both surgery and antibiotics; less evidence is available on the strategy's other components. The strategy as a whole has been associated with large-scale successes in Morocco and southern Sudan.

Monitoring provided by The Carter Center

We have only found prevalence evaluation reports from two of The Carter Center's six focus countries: Ethiopia and Ghana. Both show significant declines in trachoma prevalence, but it is unclear to us why these two countries were chosen for surveys, and we therefore question whether the results from these countries are representative of the effects we'd expect across all of The Carter Center's trachoma programs.

  • Ethiopia: surveys in the four areas that had completed three years of programming measured decreases in the prevalence of trachoma infection among young children of 30-99% across 4 districts.3
  • Ghana: surveys similarly found significant declines in disease prevalence.4

What do you get for your dollar?

The Carter Center does not appear to make information available on how much this program spends, and we do not have enough independent information to estimate it. In general, independent estimates imply that surgeries are relatively cost-effective ($4-82 per disability-adjusted life-year (DALY), or $100 to avert 1-30 years of blindness and another 1-30 years of low vision), while antibiotics treatment is not cost-effective (details on cost-effectiveness estimates; more on the DALY metric).

Sources

  • 1.

    "The Carter Center and its partners, the ministries of health in Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, and Sudan, with the generous support of the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation and the Lions Clubs International Foundation, are working together to implement the SAFE strategy in order to eliminate trachoma from at-risk communities." Carter Center, "Trachoma Control Program."

  • 2.

    Carter Center, "Trachoma Control Program."

  • 3.

    Carter Center, "Ensuring Implementation of the Full SAFE Strategy," Pg 56.

  • 4.

    "Active trachoma was reduced in all districts compared to the baseline surveys (see Figure 3)." Carter Center, "Ghana Prevalence Surveys Show Trachoma Program's Success Trachoma," Pg 7.