Partnership to End Blinding Trachoma Through the International Trachoma Initiative

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.

Partnership to End Blinding Trachoma Through the International Trachoma Initiative

Trachoma is an infectious eye disease caused by repeated infection by the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and it is the world's leading cause of preventable blindness. About 21.4 million people, mostly women and children, in 53 endemic countries have active trachoma infection and need treatment. Another 8.2 million people are estimated to have an advanced stage of the disease, called trichiasis, in which the eyelashes turn inward and scrape the cornea. People with trichiasis face the risk of visual impairment or blindness unless treated with antibiotics and a simple surgical procedure. 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. Globally, an estimated 325 million people live in trachoma-endemic areas.

In 1998, Pfizer and the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation co-established the ITI, an independent not-for-profit organization dedicated to the elimination of blinding trachoma. Housed at The Task Force for Global Health, ITI manages Pfizer’s global donation of the antibiotic Zithromax and collaborates with governmental and nongovernmental agencies at local, national and international levels to implement the SAFE strategy. Pfizer also funds a significant portion of ITI’s activities worldwide. To date, Pfizer has donated 280 million Zithromax® treatments through ITI. This medicine has reached millions of people in 19 countries. ITI plans to be active in more than 42 countries by 2015.


  • Pfizer

    Goods Supplier, Institute
    United States | Staff size: 1001-5000

    At Pfizer, they apply science and their global resources to bring therapies to people that extend and significantly improve their lives.

    They strive to set the standard for quality,...

  • Edna McConnell Clark Foundation

    United States | Staff size: 6-25

    The Edna McConnell Clark Foundation seeks to transform the lives of greater numbers of America’s most vulnerable and economically disadvantaged young people.

    They make large,...

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation (B&MGF)

    United States | Staff size: Unknown
    They are focused on the areas of greatest need, on the ways in which they can do the most good.


  • The Carter Center

    Implementing NGO
    United States | Staff size: 10,000+

    A not-for-profit, nongovernmental organization, The Carter Center has helped to improve life for people in more than 70 countries by resolving conflicts; advancing democracy, human rights, and...

  • Helen Keller International (HKI)

    Advocacy NGO, Implementing NGO
    United States | Staff size: 101-250

    Founded in 1915, Helen Keller International (HKI) is among the oldest international nonprofit organizations devoted to preventing blindness and reducing malnutrition worldwide. Spanning 22...

  • Lions Clubs International Foundation (LCIF)

    United States | Staff size: 26-50

    Lions around the world are united by a great spirit of giving and dedication to helping others. As the official charitable organization of Lions Clubs International, a leading humanitarian...

  • Sightsavers

    Implementing NGO
    Staff size: 251-500

    Sightsavers works to combat blindness in developing countries, restoring sight through specialist treatment and eye care. They also support people who are irreversibly blind by providing...

  • U.S. Fund for UNICEF

    Advocacy NGO, Funding Agencies
    United States | Staff size: Unknown

    The United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF) works in more than 190 countries and territories to save and improve children's lives by providing health care and immunizations, clean water...

  • World Health Organization (WHO)

    Funding Agencies
    Staff size: 5001-10,000

    WHO (World Health Organisation) is the directing and coordinating authority for health within the United Nations system. It is responsible for providing leadership on global health matters,...

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Key Information

  • Start Date 1998