Pfizer donates the antibiotic Zithromax® that treats and prevents blinding trachoma. More than 225 million doses have been distributed since the start of the Zithromax® drug donation program in 1998.
Trachoma is an infectious eye disease that is spread by contact with an infected person's hands or clothing. It is the world's leading cause of preventable blindness and is one of the oldest diseases known to man.
Today, best estimates suggest that close to 110 million people live in areas where trachoma is confirmed to be endemic and implementation of the full SAFE strategy is needed. Another 210 million people live in districts where trachoma is suspected but where no data are available to guide interventions.
In the confirmed districts, an estimated 4.6 million people suffer from the final stages of the disease and require surgery to prevent them from going blind. Additionally, more than 80% of the burden of active trachoma is concentrated in 14 countries, where immediate action is needed.
Trachoma is believed to be endemic in 59 countries, primarily in Africa and Asia. The poorest of the poor suffer most from trachoma, particularly those with limited access to water and sanitation. Because trachoma is transmitted through close personal contact, it tends to occur in clusters-often infecting entire families and communities.
However, trachoma is treatable and preventable with full implementation of the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended SAFE strategy for trachoma control (Surgery; Antibiotics-using donated Zithromax®; Facial cleanliness; and Environmental improvement) in affected communities.
Program Goal: Pfizer is working to help end the suffering and the cycle of poverty caused by this debilitating disease by partnering with the WHO's Alliance for the Global Elimination of Blinding Trachoma by the year 2020 (GET2020) and the International Trachoma Initiative.
Pfizer's Commitment: To provide the Zithromax® needed in the effort to eliminate blinding trachoma by 2020 and help preserve and restore the health and well-being of affected families worldwide.