22nd Trachoma Expert Committee Meeting
Written by: Sumon Ray
The 22nd meeting of the Trachoma Expert Committee (TEC) was held virtually from August 10-14, 2020 on the Zoom Webinar platform. Dr. Babar Qureshi, Director of NTDs and Senior Medical Advisor at CBM International, presided as TEC Chair. Observers included implementing partners and colleagues from WHO, Pfizer, ICTC, and USAID. During the meeting, TEC members reviewed Zithromax® donation requests for 2021 totaling 110,137, 418 million treatments in 860 districts from 22 countries. Of the treatments requested, as of August 14th, 2020, just over 109,934,403 million treatments in 851 districts were approved or contingently approved for 2021.
As of August 14, 2020, ITI had shipped more than 8 million treatments of Zithromax®, and were planning for a total of 43 million treatments to be shipped by year-end. In 2019, 153 new districts, and a population of 19.7 million were added in the ITI-supported countries. Additionally, 152 districts with a population of 21.8 million reached the TF1-9 elimination target and no longer warranted MDA. Between 2015-2019, 8 countries, 833 new districts, and a population of 117.8 million were added in the ITI-supported countries. In the same timeframe, 741 districts with a population of 112.0 million reached the TF1-9 elimination target and no longer warranted MDA.
As of July 2020, 136.8 million people are living in trachoma endemic districts. 52.6% of the current estimated global burden is in Ethiopia.
In addition to the country application reviews, TEC members discussed the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on trachoma program planning, enjoyed meditations on the epidemiology of compassion facilitated by Dr. David Addiss, and took many moments to reflect on how participants missed the in-person fellowship.
TEC 23 is currently planned for December 8-10, 2020 in Cape Town, South Africa. Depending on the COVID-19 pandemic, this may change and updates will be sent to TEC 23 participants and observers.