Progress of Trachoma Mapping in Mainland Tanzania: Results of Baseline Surveys from 2012 to 2014
PURPOSE: Following surveys in 2004-2006 in 50 high-risk districts of mainland Tanzania, trachoma was still suspected to be widespread elsewhere. We report on baseline surveys undertaken from 2012 to 2014.
METHODS: A total of 31 districts were surveyed. In 2012 and 2013, 12 at-risk districts were selected based on proximity to known trachoma endemic districts, while in 2014, trachoma rapid assessments were undertaken, and 19 of 55 districts prioritized for baseline surveys. A multi-stage cluster random sampling methodology was applied whereby 20 villages (clusters) and 36 households per cluster were surveyed. Eligible participants, children aged 1-9 years and people aged 15 years and older, were examined for trachoma using the World Health Organization simplified grading system.
RESULTS: A total of 23,171 households were surveyed and 104,959 participants (92.3% of those enumerated) examined for trachoma signs. A total of 44,511 children aged 1-9 years and 65,255 people aged 15 years and older were examined for trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF) and trichiasis, respectively. Prevalence of TF varied by district, ranging from 0.0% (95% confidence interval, CI 0.0-0.1%) in Mbinga to 11.8% (95% CI 6.8-16.5%) in Chunya. Trichiasis prevalence was lowest in Urambo (0.03%, 95% CI 0.00-0.24%) and highest in Kibaha (1.08%, 95% CI 0.74-1.43%).
CONCLUSION: Only three districts qualified for mass drug administration with azithromycin. Trichiasis is still a public health problem in many districts, thus community-based trichiasis surgery should be considered to prevent blindness due to trachoma. These findings will facilitate achievement of trachoma elimination objectives.