The International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) was created through a pioneering public-private partnership of the Edna McConnell Clark Foundation and Pfizer Inc in 1998. Since then, ITI has been the only global organization dedicated exclusively to the elimination of trachoma, the world’s leading cause of preventable blindness. ITI works in partnership with governments, the private sector, international organizations, and local NGOs to fight trachoma and the other NTDs that restrict human development, especially in Africa. Building on the successful elimination of blinding trachoma in Morocco in 2006, ITI currently works in 18 countries in Africa and Asia.
As a non-governmental organization helping countries to prevent, treat, and ultimately eliminate blinding trachoma, ITI is a major proponent and facilitator of the four-pronged and proven SAFE strategy: Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvement. The merger of ITI with the Task Force brings the ability to leverage additional resources and significantly scale up efforts to meet the WHO goal of the Global Elimination of Blinding Trachoma by 2020. Through innovative partnerships at the international, national and local levels, ITI will build essential support—including Zithromax® donated by Pfizer—for expanded implementation of the SAFE strategy, operational research and program evaluation, education, and advocacy.