Prevalence of Trachoma in Benishangul Gumuz Region, Ethiopia: Results of Seven Population-Based Surveys from the Global Trachoma Mapping Project
PURPOSE: Trachoma is a major cause of blindness in Ethiopia, and targeted for elimination as a public health problem by the year 2020. Prevalence data are needed to plan interventions. We set out to estimate the prevalence of trachoma in each evaluation unit of grouped districts ("woredas") in Benishangul Gumuz region, Ethiopia.
METHODS: We conducted seven cross-sectional community-based surveys, covering 20 woredas, between December 2013 and January 2014, as part of the Global Trachoma Mapping Project (GTMP). The standardized GTMP training package and methodologies were used.
RESULTS: A total of 5828 households and 21,919 individuals were enumerated in the surveys. 19,583 people (89.3%) were present when survey teams visited. A total of 19,530 (99.7%) consented to examination, 11,063 (56.6%) of whom were female. The region-wide age- and sex-adjusted trichiasis prevalence in adults aged ≥15 years was 1.3%. Two evaluation units covering four woredas (Pawe, Mandura, Bulen and Dibate) with a combined rural population of 166,959 require implementation of the A, F and E components of the SAFE strategy (surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness and environmental improvement) for at least three years before re-survey, and intervention planning should begin for these woredas as soon as possible.
CONCLUSION: Both active trachoma and trichiasis are public health problems in Benishangul Gumuz, which needs implementation of the full SAFE strategy.