Jimmy Carter works for global end to blindness caused by houseflies

Former U.S. President Jimmy Carter attends a news conference in New YorkAs Jimmy Carter approaches 90, he is reaching for victory in a 15-year war against an infection spread by houseflies that blinds millions in developing countries and posed a threat to his own family and neighbors as a child on a Georgia farm. "Our goal is to eliminate blinding trachoma from the face of the earth by 2020," the former U.S. president said during a visit on Tuesday to the New York headquarters of Pfizer Inc, which donates the antibiotic Zithromax used to treat the disease. Trachoma, the world's leading cause of preventable blindness, affects more than 20 million people worldwide, of whom about 2.2 million are visually impaired and 1.2 million are blind, according to the World Health Organization. The disease is caused when houseflies, attracted to the moist eye, spread Chlamydia bacteria.



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