Monday, November 16, 2015
Pfizer, Global Partners Announce Donation of 500 Millionth Dose of Azithromycin, Marking Progress to Help Alleviate the Suffering from Trachoma
The International Trachoma Initiative (ITI), Pfizer Inc. and International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC) partners announce Pfizer’s donation of the 500 millionth dose of Zithromax® (azithromycin) Tablets, an antibiotic used to treat trachoma in certain countries. The milestone marks significant achievement in global efforts to help eliminate this infectious and preventable eye disease that can lead to permanent blindness as a public health threat by the year 2020.
Today, delegations from the U.K. and U.S. governments, non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and Pfizer are gathering in the Wolisso region of Ethiopia to celebrate the donation of the 500 millionth Zithromax dose and a significant expansion of the national trachoma elimination program in the country.
“This milestone highlights what is possible when partners work together toward a common goal and signifies remarkable achievement in our fight to eliminate trachoma globally,” said Virginia Sarah, chair, International Coalition for Trachoma Control, an alliance of organizations committed to supporting national program efforts in more than 30 countries to eliminate trachoma using the SAFE strategy, an approach that includes antibiotic treatment. “Our collective efforts are helping to reduce the impacts of this ancient, preventable disease on affected individuals, families and communities.”
The burden of trachoma remains highest in Ethiopia, with 75 million people at risk, and the Federal Ministry of Health is working with Alliance partners to significantly expand the number of people in Ethiopia who are treated. . .
The International Trachoma Initiative was founded in 1998 in response to the WHO call to achieve Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 (GET 2020). ITI’s founding partners, Pfizer Inc. and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation, saw the need for an international NGO dedicated solely to the elimination of trachoma. The ITI is currently administered by the Task Force for Global Health, an independent not for profit. To achieve that goal, ITI collaborates with governmental and NGO agencies at the local, national and international levels to implement the WHO-recommended SAFE strategy for trachoma control. For more information, please visit www.Trachoma.org.