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Unimproved water sources and open defecation are associated with active trachoma in children in internally displaced persons camps in the Darfur States of Sudan.


PURPOSE:To estimate the proportion of children with trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF) and adults with trachomatous trichiasis (TT) in internally displaced persons (IDP) camps in the Darfur States of Sudan and to evaluate associated risk factors. METHODS:IDP camps were identified from government census data. We conducted a subanalysis of data collected in these camps during 2014-2015 as part of surveys covering 37 districts of the Darfur States within the Global Trachoma Mapping Project. A random-effects hierarchical model was used to evaluate factors associated with TF in children or TT in adults. RESULTS:Thirty-six IDP camps were represented in the survey data, in which 1926 children aged 1-9 y were examined, of whom 38 (8%) had TF. Poor sanitation, younger age and living in a household that purchased water from a vendor were associated with TF in children aged 1-9 y. Of 2139 individuals examined aged ≥15 y, 16 (0.7%) had TT. TT was strongly independently associated with being older and living alone. CONCLUSION:Trachoma is found at low levels in these camps, but still at levels where intervention is needed. Disease elimination in conflict-related settings presents a unique challenge for the trachoma community, and may require an innovative approach. Understanding how best to undertake trachoma elimination interventions in these areas should be prioritized.

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