Prevalence and associated risk factors of trachoma among women aged 15 to 49 years in North Western Ethiopia

  • Getu Degu Alene
  • Workayehu Kebede
  • Bekele Kebede

Abstract

A community-based cross-sectional survey to determine the prevalence and associated risk factors of trachoma among women aged 15 to 49 years was conducted in two districts of North Western Ethiopia between February and May 1999. A total of 830 women chosen randomly by stratified scheme and 919 children 1 - 7 years old who were living in the selected households were included in the study. Examination of the eye was performed on the women and children included in the study and the prevalence rates of trachoma were 41.7% and 71.3%, respectively. Trained health workers who were given a two-day intensive training were responsible for the examination of the eye. Active trachoma, i.e., Trachomatous Follicles(TF) and/or Trachomatous intense inflammation(TI) was present in 268(32.3%) of the women. The study also showed that 50(6%) of the cases require lid surgery for Trachomatous Trachiasis(TT) and 14 (1.7%) had corneal opacity(CO). The investigation carried out regarding the association of child caretaking and active trachoma among women revealed that caretakers were at a higher risk of acquiring the disease than noncaretakers and those women without children aged 1-7 years (Trend test, P<.001). Educational Status, frequency of face washing, availability of latrine facilities, age of women and family size were found to be highly associated with trachoma (P<.001).The development of community-based strategies which would increase the awareness of women of childbearing age about the prevention of trachoma and the introduction of mechanisms that interrupt household transmissions are recommended.

(Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 2000, 14(3): 293-302)
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