21st Trachoma Expert Committee Meeting
The 21st meeting of the Trachoma Expert Committee (TEC) was held at the Pfizer Headquarters in New York City, USA from November 5-7, 2019. Dr. Babar Qureshi, Director of NTDs and Senior Medical Advisor at CBM International, served as TEC Chair. Observers included colleagues from WHO, Pfizer, ICTC, USAID, and implementing partners. During the 20th and 21st TEC meeting, TEC members reviewed Zithromax® donation requests for 2020 totaling 110,430,617 treatments in 747 districts from 25 countries. Of the treatments requested, 110,037,359 treatments were approved or contingently approved for 2020.
As of November 5, 2019, ITI has shipped more than 80 million treatments of Zithromax®, and are planning for a total of 85 million treatments to be shipped by year end. Between 2014-2018, eight countries, 878 new districts, and a population of 117.8 million people were added to ITI-supported countries. In the same timeframe, 635 districts with a population of 102.9 million people reached the TF elimination target of TF < 5% and no longer warranted mass drug administration (MDA).
TEC participants also enjoyed a field trip to the Ellis Island Hospital, where immigrants were screened for trachoma when coming to the United States between 1892 and 1924. It was a moment of reflection and learning as trachoma is still a global concern.
In addition to country application reviews, TEC members discussed patient safety during MDA, implications for Zithromax® dosing changes, supply chain strengthening, trachoma serology, and operational research for trachoma surveillance.
Dr. Esmael Habtamu and Ms. Stephanie Palmer were welcomed as new TEC Members. This was Dr. Habtamu’s first TEC meeting and Palmer attended TEC 20. Dr. Simon Brooker was thanked for his service as he rotated off as a TEC Member.
TEC 22 is scheduled for June 16-18, 2020 in Decatur, GA, USA.