Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Business and Tech

Pfizer aims to eliminate the blinding disease trachoma by 2030 – Business and Tech News – Report by AFR

Pfizer said Thursday it will extend through 2030 a drug donation program aimed at eliminating trachoma, an eye disease responsible for the blindness or low vision of nearly two million people worldwide.

The US pharmaceutical company co-founded the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) in 1998 and has already donated almost a billion doses of the antibiotic azithromycin, helping to reduce the number of people affected by 90 percent.

“We’re so close to where we need to be in eliminating this disease that we couldn’t give up now,” Caroline Roan, Pfizer’s chief sustainability officer and senior vice president, told AFP.

The announcement was made in Kigali, Rwanda, at the Malaria and Neglected Tropical Diseases Summit.

Trachoma is caused by infection with the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis and is transmitted through personal contact (eg, through hands, clothing, or bedding) and through flies that have come into contact with discharge from the eyes or nose of an infected person the World Health Organization.

Africa is the hardest-hit continent, and women are up to four times more likely to be blinded than men, likely due to greater contact with infants. Repeated infections pull the lashes inward where they rub against the eye, causing pain and permanent damage to the cornea, the WHO says.

About 136 million people live in trachoma-endemic areas and are at risk.

The ITI originally hoped to eliminate the disease by 2020, but now has 2030 in its sights. Thanks to the progress already made, trachoma is no longer a public health problem in 13 countries (including China, Morocco, Ghana and elsewhere).

Individual districts are assessed and if more than 5 percent of the children are infected, the antibiotic is offered to the entire local population once a year for both treatment and prevention.

“Some of the campaigns are going to treat literally 10 million people in a week and that’s really shutting down this contagious reservoir,” ITI director Paul Emerson told AFP.

The challenge today is to reach isolated populations, including nomads, and to combine the drug with promoting hygiene measures such as frequent face washing in areas where water may be scarce.

Today the disease persists in 44 countries.

“Conflict is a big factor,” Emerson said. “In a perfect world, where there was no disruption to available resources and no war, we could have probably eliminated trachoma by 2020.”

Of the new target for 2030, Roan said: “We think it’s realistic and ambitious.”

#Pfizer #aims #eliminate #blinding #disease #trachoma

You May Also Like

Health News

The cosmetic and facial plastic surgery practice is hosting a grand opening celebration and ribbon cutting for its new Chattanooga state-of-the-art location.

Current News

“NEXT by TRT World Forum” Brought Together Globally Known Young Professionals

Current News

J & D Oriental Rug Co. sells antique and vintage carpets and rugs sourced from different regions with an inventory of over 6000 unique...

Business and Tech

Big brands are rushing into the metaverse, but the path to profit is still unclear and mass adoption could be years away, one of...