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Nearly 10 percent of the world's population is at risk of blindness from trachoma, a preventable infection of the eye. Trachoma plagues the developing world, where limited access to water and sanitation allows the disease to spread throughout entire communities. Children are most susceptible to infection from trachoma, and women are three times more likely than men to be blinded by the disease. Globally, trachoma results in approximately US$2.9 billion in lost productivity per year.
ITI builds on growing international momentum to support the WHO's goal of eliminating blinding trachoma by 2020. ITI catalyzes partnerships among international agencies and governmental and nongovernmental organizations to achieve elimination by supporting national governments in the planning, implementation and monitoring of sustainable trachoma control programs in endemic countries.
The cornerstone of ITI's work is the SAFE strategy, a comprehensive approach that combines treatment with prevention to combat trachoma at all levels. The SAFE strategy employs curative medicine, public health measures, and social development interventions in order to reduce rates of infection in communities while simultaneously addressing the underlying causes of the disease. SAFE includes:
Surgery to correct trichiasis, the advanced, blinding stage of the disease
Antibiotics to treat active infection, revolutionized by the oral dose preparation Zithromax, donated by Pfizer Inc
Facial cleanliness to prevent disease transmission
Environmental improvement to increase access to clean water and improve sanitation
Since launching pilot programs in Morocco and Tanzania in 1999, ITI has steadily expanded to support implementation of the SAFE strategy in 15 countries in Africa and Asia. In 2005, Morocco completed its final round of mass antibiotic treatment and reached the WHO targets for elimination of blinding trachoma in all endemic provinces of the country. Meanwhile, Ghana, Mauritania, Nepal and Vietnam remain on pace to complete the mass intervention phase within the next five years.
The SAFE strategy has proven effective in not only eliminating blinding trachoma, but also in contributing to the achievement of several of the Untied Nation's Millennium Development Goals. ITI's work empowers communities in the developing world through educational efforts, capacity building, and the fostering of economic growth. The elimination of blinding trachoma will mean that families can break free from the devastating cycle of poverty that has plagued them for generations, and communities across the globe can see beyond the daily struggle for survival in order to have an opportunity to thrive.
Ethiopia, Ghana, Kenya, Mali, Mauritania, Morocco, Nepal, Niger, Senegal, Sudan, Tanzania, United Republic of, Viet Nam, Burkina Faso, Gambia, Uganda
325 Swanton Way
Decatur, GA 30030
A Gift Card
Antibiotics for 500
Zithromax, an antibiotic donated by Pfizer, has been proven to treat infection in individuals and suppress transmission in the community. Your donation will allow us to treat over 500 individuals with antibiotics by covering the cost of distribution.
Endorsed by the World Health Organization, the surgery is a simple, cost-effective procedure that provides immediate, tangible relief from the painful and debilitating symptoms of trichiasis and prevents further progression to blindness. The surgery can be performed in fifteen minutes by trained health workers in any sanitary location - village health centers, classrooms, even under a tree - making it possible for people in the...