Trachoma is an infectious eye disease and one of the world's leading causes of preventable blindness.1 Repeated trachoma infections can cause the eyelids to turn in and lashes to scrape the eyeball with each blink, causing great pain and cornea scarring.1 This condition is called trachomatous trichiasis, and without immediate, corrective surgery, a person with trichiasis will slowly and painfully become blind.1
Trachoma is both a cause and consequence of inequity and is endemic in areas where safe water is scarce and environmental sanitation is limited.1 It is believed to be a public health problem in 42 countries with more than 125 million people living in trachoma-endemic areas globally.1
However, it is treatable and preventable.4 The World Health Organisation (WHO) endorses a series of simple interventions known as the SAFE Strategy: Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvements.1 In order to prevent permanent blindness and disability from trachoma, each of these interventions must be implemented over the long term.4
Since 1999, Pfizer has donated 1 billion antibiotic treatments in 40 countries.2,3 As part of its global commitment to eliminate trachoma, as well as its aim to expand equitable healthcare access globally, Pfizer has committed to extending its antibiotic donation to the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) through 2030 to help achieve global elimination of trachoma.
Through decades of working together we are already seeing tremendous progress. For example, as of June 2022, 13 countries have eliminated trachoma as a public health problem,3 including Cambodia, Ghana, Islamic Republic of Iran, Lao People's Democratic Republic, Mexico, Morocco, Myanmar, Nepal, Oman, People's Republic of China, and The Gambia.6 What's more, the global burden of trachoma has been reduced by over 91% since 2002,1,5 meaning more than 2.6 million people no longer require antibiotics for trachoma.3
Pfizer Inc. has a three part approach to aid and emergency relief: medicine donations, cash grants, and humanitarian assistance programmes.
We have been a proud supporter of International Health Partners (IHP) for around 15 years.
World Health Organisation. 'Trachoma factsheet' Accessed Feb 2023.
International Trachoma Initiative. Where We Work Accessed Feb 2023.
International Trachoma Initiative. Home. Accessed Feb 2023.
International Trachoma Initiative. About Trachoma. Accessed Feb 2023.
World Health Organisation. Eliminating trachoma: WHO announces sustained progress with hundreds of millions of people no longer at risk of infection Accessed Feb 2023.
International Trachoma Initiative. About ITI Accessed Feb 2023.