The International Trachoma Initiative is the recipient of a Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation grant entitled “Increasing the Sustainability and Scalability of NTD Control Programs through Country and Global Level Integration”.  Awarded in 2006, this grant focuses on trachoma operational research within the Neglected Tropical Disease (NTD) context to:

  • increase the sustainability and ability to scale up trachoma and NTD programs by assessing the impacts of integrating NTD programs, and
  • increase the sustainability of ITI’s operating model.

Some of the activities being funded through the grant include:

  • Assessing the safety of co-administering the drugs used to treat lymphatic filariasis (ivermectin & albendazole) and trachoma (azithromycin) in an endemic population
  • Conducting disease “mapping” in an integrated manner to determine in a more efficient and cost-effective manner which combination of NTDs is endemic in each health district of a country
  • Developing a mobile phone system allowing countries to receive treatment and inventory reports from health districts following mass drug administration
  • Creating a global ‘Trachoma Atlas’ to graphically display district-level trachoma prevalence for each endemic country on an open-access website