Partnership for the Rapid Elimination of Trachoma (PRET)
Start Date: 12/01/2007
End Date: 11/30/2012
The goal of the projects in this proposal is to improve the implementation of the SAFE strategy for trachoma control through trials on new methods for surgery and antibiotic use, thereby addressing fundamental questions limiting the success of the SAFE intervention strategy. Through this partnership, we will address the significant, rate-limiting, program barriers for trachoma control, recurrence of trichiasis following surgery and re-emergence of infection and trachoma following mass treatment. Our proposal will develop and test a new surgical instrument designed to reduce recurrence, and determine the likely trajectory of elimination of blinding trachoma under antibiotic coverage, frequency, and mass treatment cessation alternatives in program settings. These alternatives will be produced for three scenarios: first, where the disease and infection is hypoendemic (The Gambia); second, where the disease and infection were formerly hyperendemic but have declined over eight years to mesoendemic levels (Tanzania); third, where programs have not yet started in hyperendemic areas (Ethiopia). Only a consortium with such diverse partnership can expeditiously accomplish these goals in such settings.