Sightsavers Reports

The epidemiology of trachoma in the lower shire valley of southern Malawi and implications for the “SAFE” strategy

In 2014, a population based cross sectional study was conducted to determine the prevalence of trachoma and associated risk factors in the Lower Shire Valley of Southern Malawi. A total of 2,957 children aged 1-9 years who were assessed for clinical signs of trachomatous inflammation – follicular (TF) and 2,247 adults aged 15 and above were assessed for signs of trachomatous trichiasis (TT). The prevalence of TF among children aged 1-9 years was found to be 18.5% (95% CI 16.4-20.8) in Nsanje and 7.8% (95% CI 6.6-9.2) in Mwanza districts respectively. The prevalence of TT in adults aged 15 and above was 0.5% (95% CI: 0.1-0.9) in Nsanje district and 0.2% (95% CI: 0.1-0.4) in Mwanza district, respectively. In regards to risk factors, only the presence of a dirty face was associated with trachoma follicular (TF) in Nsanje and Mwanza districts (P< 0.001). The prevalence of trachoma in Nsanje suggests the need for the implementation of the full SAFE (Surgery, Antibiotics, Face Washing and Environmental) control strategy.

Countryside in Malawi
Journal Article
Eye health, NTD
Date published
International Journal of Tropical Disease and Health
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