Trachoma results from bacterial infection of the conjunctiva by Chlamydia Trachomatis. It prevails in impoverished communities where hygiene is inadequate. Infection occurs primarily among younger children and is transmitted from person to person mainly through contact and sometimes by eye-seeking flies. Repeated infections can eventually lead to conjunctival and corneal scarring and the turning–in of the eyelid which causes the eye lashes to rub against the cornea, leading to irreversible blindness with extreme pain.

Trachoma control programmes promote a combination of surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness and environmental change (the SAFE strategy).