Celebrating 20 Years of Commitment to Helping Eliminate Blinding Trachoma
In 2018, Pfizer celebrated 20 years of commitment to eliminating blinding trachoma, along with another exciting milestone - more than 800 million donated doses of Zithromax® (azithromycin) shipped to 40 countries since the program began. As a result of a coordinated program scale-up with our partners, just over 100 million of those doses were shipped in 2018 alone.
Through experience we've learned that collaboration is essential to solving complex global public health challenges. An example of this approach is our work with the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI), an organization that provides support to national ministries of health and governmental and non-governmental organizations to implement a comprehensive approach to fight trachoma. Pfizer and ITI are part of a global network of more than 100 diverse partners working together to eliminate trachoma, the world's leading infectious cause of blindness. Trachoma primarily affects remote communities with severely limited access to health care, clean water or sanitation. Nearly 157.7 million people are living in trachoma-endemic areas in 43 countries.
In 2018, the World Health Organization (WHO) validated that Ghana and Nepal had reached trachoma elimination, making them the first countries in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia to achieve this target. Both received Pfizer's Zithromax donation and are proof that the comprehensive global trachoma elimination strategy is working. As we announced in June, Pfizer recommitted to donating Zithromax through 2025 to help provide endemic countries with more time to achieve the same validation of disease elimination.
These accomplishments have a huge impact on millions of patients. We're proud to continue supporting the global partnership in an effort to eliminate this debilitating disease.