Prevalence and factors associated with trachoma among children aged 1–9 years in Zala District, Gamo Gofa Zone, Southern Ethiopia

Kassahun Mengistu, Mulugeta Shegaze, Kifle Woldemichael, Hailay Gesesew, Yohannes Markos

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    Background: Trachoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide. It is common in areas where people are socioeconomically deprived. Globally, approximately 1.2 billion people live in trachoma-endemic areas, in which, 40.6 million individuals have active trachoma and 8.2 million have trichiasis. According to the World Health Organization’s 2007 report, globally close to 1.3 million people are blind due to trachoma, while approximately 84 million suffer from active trachoma. The National Survey (2007) of Ethiopia showed a prevalence of 40.1% active trachoma among children aged 1–9 years. Trachoma is still endemic in most parts of Ethiopia. Objective: To assess prevalence of trachoma and factors associated with it among children aged 1–9 years in Zala district, Gamo Gofa Zone, Southern Nations, Nationalities, and Peoples’ Region. Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in Zala district from February 28 to March 26, 2014. A total of 611 children were examined for trachoma based on the simplified World Health Organization 1983 classification. A multistage stratified sampling technique with a systematic random sampling technique was used to select study participants. Data were collected by using a semistructured pretested questionnaire and clinical eye examination. The data were entered using EpiData version 3.1 and analyzed using SPSS version 16. Multivariable logistic regression analysis was used to identify independently associated factors. Results: The overall prevalence of active trachoma cases was 224 (36.7%) consisting of 207 (92.4%) trachomatous follicles, eight (3.6%) trachomatous intense, and nine (4.0%) combination of trachomatous follicle and trachomatous intense. Inadequate knowledge of family head about trachoma (adjusted odds ratio [AOR] =2.8 [95% CI: 1.9, 4.2]); ≤10 m latrine distance (AOR =1.6 [95% confidence interval {CI}: 1.09, 2.4]); presence of above two preschool children (AOR =2.2 [95% CI: 1.3, 3.7]), flies on the face (AOR =6.3 [95% CI: 2.7, 14.7]), and unclean face (AOR =2.4 [95% CI: 1.5, 3.9]) were found to be independently associated with trachoma. Conclusion: Trachoma among children in Zala district is a disease of public health importance. Factors like inadequate knowledge about trachoma by the head of the family, ≤10 m latrine distance, presence of above two preschool children, flies on the face, and an unclean face were independently associated with trachoma among children. So strengthening of antibiotic use, face washing, and environmental improvement strategy implementation is mandatory.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1663-1670
    Number of pages8
    JournalClinical Ophthalmology
    Publication statusPublished - 29 Aug 2016

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    • Associated factors
    • Children
    • Ethiopia
    • Prevalence
    • Trachoma


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