Applying for Zithromax®

Applications for Zithromax® for trachoma control are reviewed in detail by the Trachoma Expert Committee and International Trachoma Initiative staff, with support from the World Health Organization.  ITI does not make Zithromax® directly available to private groups, churches or organizations doing charity work overseas.

Technical Requirements for National Trachoma Programs:

National Ministries of Health submit annual applications for Zithromax® to the International Trachoma Initiative, in support of their goal to eliminate blinding trachoma through implementation of the SAFE strategy.  National Trachoma Programs requesting Zithromax® for community-based mass treatment programmes must consider a number of technical and administrative matters including:

1. The prevalence of trachoma based on existing information, recent population-based prevalence surveys.

2. An appropriate treatment strategy for the designated population group based on the prevalence of active trachoma.  The strategy for mass treatment is to administer Zithromax® to all eligible people residing in endemic areas (prevalence of TF > 10% in children 1-9 years of age).

3. The availability of sufficient program resources to continue treatment until such time as elimination is achieved.  These resources may include:

  • Competent and well-trained staff;
  • Transportation;
  • Appropriate Zithromax® storage facilities;
  • Plans for program monitoring and evaluation.

4. The evidence of support for implementation of the comprehensive SAFE strategy.  All components must be addressed in order to successfully apply for the drug donation and sustainably eliminate blindness from trachoma. 

5. Making plans to inform and gain the support of the community to be treated through appropriate health education and social mobilization activities.

6. Ensuring that health workers and community-based drug distributors are trained and competent in such procedures as:

  • Registering persons for treatment;
  • Identifying persons to be excluded from treatment;
  • Determining the correct Zithromax® dose based on weight or height;
  • Assuring that persons swallow the proper dose of the drug;
  • Providing adequate standby medical care for adverse drug experiences after treatment;
  • Monitoring for and reporting serious adverse experiences (SAEs).

7. Sustainability and the possible integration of SAFE strategy activities within existing primary health care systems or other established health care activities.

  • National Programs applying for Zithromax® for the first time will need to contact the International Trachoma Initiative to obtain the proper application documents.
  • National Programs submitting their annual applications for Zithromax® will be provided their application documents according to the annual deadlines.


The Zithromax® donation is available for the elimination of blinding trachoma only.