Nigerian Journal of Ophthalmology

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Trachoma Prevalence and Risk Factors in Eight Local Government Areas of Zamfara State

Nasiru Muhammad, Marthe Damina, Murtala M Umar, Sunday Isiyaku


Introduction: Trachoma is the leading cause of infectious blindness worldwide and is targeted for elimination by the year 2020 by the World Health Organization (WHO). The aim of our study was to provide baseline data on trachoma for eight local government areas (LGAs) of Zamfara state, Nigeria to enable planning and control activities in affected communities.

Materials and Methods: A population‑based cross‑sectional survey was conducted in the selected LGAs between October 2010 and July 2011 using a two‑stage sampling with probability proportional to size. The WHO guidelines for trachoma control were used in planning the survey, while the risk factors assessment was based on a recommendation from another WHO publication.

Results: Trachomatous inflammation – follicular prevalence in children 1–9 years was 0.04–18%; while trachomatous trichiasis (TT) prevalence in persons ≥ 15 years was 0–1.4% across the LGAs. Access to improved water sources was worst (>40%) in Bakura and Maradun LGAs. Latrine accessibility was the highest (64%) in Bakura and Bukkuyum LGAs. Awareness of trachoma as a disease was 7–92% across the LGAs, whereas knowledge of trachoma prevention is poor (1–8%). Chi‑square analysis shows access to latrine, knowledge of trachoma as a disease, and its prevention was significantly protective for active disease (odds ratio [OR] <1, P < 0.05). A regression analysis, however, showed that only access to latrine and knowledge of trachoma prevention remained significantly protective (OR < 1, P < 0.05).

Conclusion: The risk factors for trachoma are endemic in the study areas, and active control measures are needed. The burden of the disease is, however, clustered with most LGAs having a low burden of both the active and blinding disease.

Keywords: Conjunctivitis, Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020, Nigeria, trachoma, ultimate intervention goals
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