Trachoma is an infectious disease caused by the bacterium, Chlamydia trachomatis and at the world level is responsible for approximately 3% of blindness and causes 8 million people to remain with irreversible visual impairment. In the American Region, there are four countries that have trachoma foci and it is estimated that there are approximately 50 million people at the risk of having infection. Women and children living in scattered, isolated, and poor rural areas are the population groups with greater risk of infection by trachoma. The measures of personal hygiene and the access to water and sanitation are the principal interventions in order to control and eliminate the disease.
The SAFE strategy is a tool based on primary health care and has been included in the Global Elimination of Trachoma (GET 2020), which has surgery, treatment with antibiotics, facial washing, and measures of improvement of environment as principal components. The State Members of PAHO are committed to eliminating new cases of blindness caused by trachoma by 2015.