ICTC commends ITI and Pfizer for 15 years of working to end blinding trachoma

06 Nov 2013

ICTC commends Pfizer and the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) for 15 years of providing free medicine.

Pfizer, through ITI, has donated more than 340 million doses of the antibiotic Zithromax® to prevent and treat trachoma in support of the World Health Organization-led Global Alliance for the Elimination of Trachoma by 2020. Trachoma is an infectious eye disease that is a leading cause of blindness and suffering in the poorest regions of the world. Since 1998, ITI has managed the distribution of the antibiotic to 28 countries in Africa and Asia.

Prof. KH Martin Kollmann, Chair of the ICTC, said the commitment by Pfizer and ITI has significantly bolstered global trachoma elimination efforts. “There is no question that Pfizer and ITI have made a tremendous difference in the lives of millions of people, most of them women and children, who had faced the risk of blindness,” said Kollmann, Senior Advisor for Neglected Tropical Diseases at CBM. He also noted a Carter Center milestone reached in Ethiopia this year with the distribution of the 100 millionth dose of Zithromax® in that east African country. “That remarkable achievement brings us closer

to celebrating a world free of blinding trachoma, an agonizing disease that can be prevented and eliminated,” said Kollmann, adding that it also represents an effective public-private partnership that brings together funders, drug donation partners, NGOs and national programs in each country where neglected diseases are prevalent.

ITI is based at The Task Force for Global Health in Decatur, GA. Pfizer, ITI and The Carter Center all are members of the ICTC.