Orbis, an international charity focused on preventing avoidable blindness, is taking an innovative approach this winter by promoting toilet selfies. Launching on World Toilet Day (19th November), the campaign, in collaboration with London’s hospitality venues, aims to raise awareness and combat trachoma, an eye disease responsible for visual impairment or blindness in 1.9 million people worldwide.
The #TrachomaToiletSelfie challenge, a unique initiative by Orbis, invites London residents to take a selfie with a difference – in the toilet. Participating locations are enhancing their restroom mirrors with special selfie stickers that encourage reflection and action. Sharing these selfies on social media with the campaign hashtag helps elevate awareness about trachoma, an infectious eye disease preventable through antibiotics, education in hygiene, and access to clean water and sanitation.
Despite being eradicated from most advanced nations over five decades ago, trachoma still endangers the vision of over 115 million people globally. The disease thrives in areas lacking proper sanitation. This year, Orbis celebrated the distribution of their 100 millionth antibiotic dose in Ethiopia, aimed at combating trachoma. However, the threat of trachoma persists until equal access to clean water and sanitation is a reality for all.
The campaign aligns with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6, striving for universal sanitation and hygiene by 2030, coinciding with the WHO’s target for eradicating trachoma globally.
Orbis’s #TrachomaToiletSelfie challenge highlights the 64 million people at risk in Ethiopia due to trachoma in areas without proper sanitation facilities. The campaign also sheds light on the disproportionate impact of trachoma on women and girls, particularly in low- and middle-income countries.
Orbis’s role extends to collaborating with local entities for hygiene and eye care education, training community health workers in trachoma detection and referral, conducting surgeries, and working with organisations that install clean water systems and build toilets.
On World Toilet Day, a day for confronting sanitation challenges worldwide, Orbis reminds us of the potential for change, even through something as simple as a selfie.
Londoners, it’s time to capture, nominate, and contribute to the battle against trachoma!
Nominate a Friend! The campaign encourages participants to nominate three friends, utilising social media’s influence to further spread the word.
Envisioning a Trachoma-Free World Orbis is committed to eliminating trachoma by 2030. Participate in the #TrachomaToiletSelfie challenge and aid in realising this goal.
For more information about the campaign, Orbis’s initiatives, and how to get involved, please visit https://gbr.orbis.org/en/trachoma-toilet-selfie