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New Leadership Team at International Trachoma Initiative to Build Stronger Partnerships to Eliminate Blinding Trachoma

Saturday, September 19, 2009 General News J E 4
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Priority is collaborating effectively with government and NGO partners and strengthening the supply chain for delivering Pfizer-donated Zithromax

ATLANTA, July 1 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) has a new leadership team focused on creating effective collaborations among governments and NGOs in 56 trachoma endemic countries. Through stronger partnerships, ITI hopes to support local, national, regional, and international groups in reaching the goal of eliminating blinding trachoma globally by 2020. The leadership team has extensive experience in trachoma programming and addressing Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs).

"We see ITI as a partner among partners in the global trachoma community," said Dr. Danny Haddad, ITI Director. "Governments and NGOs are committed to implementing the SAFE strategy -- Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness, and Environmental improvements -- used to treat and prevent trachoma. We are setting up a Trachoma Expert Committee with experts in water, sanitation, health communications and surgery."

When ITI merged with the Task Force for Global Health in April 2009, Jeffrey B. Kindler, the Chairman and CEO of Pfizer, which supplies the antibiotic Zithromax that treats and prevents trachoma, stated, "We look forward to continuing our support and working through ITI and its Trachoma Expert Committee to provide the Zithromax that will be needed to eliminate blinding trachoma by 2020 and restore the health and well-being of families now and generations to come."

"The Zithromax drug donation program remains the key priority," said Haddad. "With this renewed commitment from Pfizer, our top goal is to make sure that Zithromax is distributed on time and in the right quantity to our partner countries."

Dr. Haddad is joined by four key staff members:

ITI has program offices in Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Niger, Tanzania and Vietnam.

www.trachoma.org

-- Associate Director Lisa Rotondo has extensive public health program management and evaluation experience, with an emphasis on trachoma and other NTDs in Africa. -- Supply Chain Manager Vivian Singletary has worked over 15 years on managing supply chain optimization projects, including mid- to long-term strategy, IT system implementations and process improvement. -- Project Manger PJ Hooper, who oversees a Gates Foundation grant supporting NTD integration research, has conducted operational research on Lymphatic Filariasis and NTDs for another Gates grant to the Global Alliance to Eliminate LF. -- Program Accounting Manager Edward Nyankson has 16 years experience in accounting and financial reporting, tax, securities exchange and regulatory reporting.

SOURCE The International Trachoma Initiative (ITI)
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