The 18th Trachoma Expert Committee (TEC) Meeting
The 18th meeting of the Trachoma Expert Committee (TEC) was held on June 26-28, 2018 at The Task Force for Global Health in Decatur, GA, USA. Meeting observers included colleagues from WHO, Pfizer, the International Coalition for Trachoma Control (ICTC), USAID, and implementing partners. During the meeting, TEC members reviewed Zithromax® donation requests for 2019 totaling 117,986,194 treatments in 875 districts from 26 countries for annual Mass Drug Administrations as part of a comprehensive strategy called SAFE to eliminate trachoma. Of the treatments requested, 117,622,028 million treatments in 870 districts have now been approved for 2019.
By way of context, in calendar year 2017, ITI shipped 81 million treatments of Zithromax® and project a total shipment of 110 million treatments during calendar year 2018. In 2017, 140 new districts, with a population of 19.3 million, began distributing Zithromax®, and 250 districts, with a population of 27 million, reached the active trachoma elimination target and no longer warranted Mass Drug Administration (MDA). If the current trajectory is maintained, ITI will be supporting fewer countries with less Zithromax® in the coming years.
The TEC members acknowledged that with increased funding for MDAs and impact and surveillance surveys, many countries have been able to reach 100% geographic scale and several have begun scaling down following the successful implementation of S, A, F, and E.
The TEC 19 meeting is scheduled for November 12-14, 2018 in Oman.
In addition to the TEC meeting, ITI celebrated 20 years of working with partners for a world free from trachoma. Celebrations included photographic exhibits, a sit-down dinner reception with a keynote speech by Dr. Edridah Tukahebwa from the Ministry of Health, Uganda, and the premiere of ITI’s 20th-anniversary documentary, “People, Partnerships, and a Pill: 20 Years of ITI.”
Photos from the celebration can be found here.
Watch our 20th-anniversary documentary, "People, Partnerships, and a Pill: 20 Years of ITI" below.