In 2017, trachoma and onchocerciasis continue to be the two most important tropical infections endangering sight.
According to the WHO, onchocerciasis affects more than one billion of the world's poorest and most vulnerable people. This infection spreads via the bite of a black fly, living near streams and rivers, which, if left untreated, leads to permanent blindness.
Trachoma affects 2 million people who are blind or visually impaired and endangers nearly 200 million people in endemic areas. It is the children who are most affected by this illness, preventing them from following correctly at school and jeopardizing their future.
According to a report by the NGO Sight Savers, an investment of $1 billion would permanently eliminate this infection, which costs the world economy 8 billion each year in lost productivity. The elimination of trachoma has been recognized as an imperative in the Sustainable Development Goals, capable of transforming the lives of millions of people and helping to reduce global poverty by 2020.