To determine the need or otherwise for establishment of a trachoma elimination program in Gombe State, Nigeria, by estimating the population-based prevalence of trachoma in each local government area (LGA) of Gombe. Using a multi-stage, systematic, random, and quasi-random sampling approach and global trachoma mapping project (GTMP) support, we selected 25 clusters in each LGA.
In each cluster, we selected 25 households and all consenting residents aged one year and older were examined for trachomatous inflammation–follicular (TF) and trichiasis, using the World Health Organization simplified grading scheme.
No LGA in Gombe State had a TF prevalence ≥5% in one to nine-year-olds. All LGAs had trichiasis prevalences above the elimination threshold and should be targeted for community-based delivery of trichiasis surgery. Only three LGAs had household-level improved wash water access of greater than 80%. Access to improved sanitation facilities was also poor as household access to improved sanitation facilities was above 80% in only one LGA.
A trachoma program focused on delivery of trichiasis surgery is required in Gombe. Improvements in water and sanitation, through engagement with other sectors, are necessary.