Hospitality Venues Across London Join Hands with Orbis on World Toilet Day, in a Reflective Campaign to Wipe Out Trachoma by 2030
LONDON, UK. November 20th, 2023 – Orbis, an international eye care charity working to end avoidable blindness around the world, is embracing the power of a toilet selfie this winter. In a novel campaign launching on World Toilet Day (19th November), the charity is partnering with London hospitality businesses to fight trachoma, a disease that has left 1.9 million people blind or visually impaired around the world.
The #TrachomaToiletSelfie challenge is a unique initiative inviting Londoners to snap a selfie with a purpose – in the loo. Participating locations are decking out their bathroom mirrors with selfie stickers that do more than just reflect – they inspire action. Each selfie shared with the campaign hashtag on social media aims to raise awareness about trachoma, a painful infectious eye disease that can be prevented from spreading with antibiotics, hygiene education and access to adequate toilets and clean water.
Worldwide, over 115 million people are at risk of trachoma, despite the condition largely disappearing in most industrialised nations over half a century ago. The disease thrives in areas of poor sanitation, robbing children and adults of their sight if left untreated. Orbis distributed their 100 millionth dose of antibiotics to stop and slow the spread of trachoma in Ethiopia this year, but wants to raise awareness that the condition will continue to threaten the sight of millions until we live in a world where clean water and toilets are available for all, not seen as a luxury.
This campaign links toilet selfies to the bigger picture – that of achieving the UN’s Sustainable Development Goal 6, which envisions safe sanitation and hygiene for all by 2030. The World Health Organisation aims for global trachoma elimination in the same year.
With every toilet selfie posted on social media, Londoners can help Orbis draw attention to the 64 million people at risk of losing their sight in Ethiopia alone, because of bacteria that thrives in areas without access to toilets. Women and girls are also much more affected by trachoma than men and in low- and middle-income countries, and often have fewer resources to combat the effects. Orbis’s challenge, taking place in bathrooms which women and girls have a disproportionate access to worldwide, aims to raise awareness of the increased risks they face.
As an eye health organisation, Orbis’s work focuses on the devastating impact that limited access to sanitation and clean water can have on communities. This includes working with local partners to run school clubs on hygiene and eye care, training community-level health workers to find those with the condition and refer them for treatment and delivering surgeries. The charity also works alongside organisations who install pumps for clean water and hand and face washing, and who build vital toilets.
On World Toilet Day, a day earmarked to confront global sanitation challenges, Orbis is reminding us that sometimes, change can start with something as simple as a selfie.
So, London, get ready to pout, pose, and post to tackle trachoma!
Nominate a Friend!
The fun doesn’t end with a click. Participants are encouraged to tag and nominate three friends to spread the message further. It’s a challenge that reflects not just faces but the power social media has to make a difference.
Picturing a World Without Trachoma
For Orbis, the mission is clear – to make trachoma history by 2030. What better way to reflect on this than where we often have a moment of reflection – in front of the bathroom mirror! Join us in the #TrachomaToiletSelfie challenge and help bring Orbis’s vision for a future without trachoma to fruition.
For more information on the campaign, Orbis’s work, and how you can participate, visit https://gbr.orbis.org/en/trachoma-toilet-selfie