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Prevalence of Trachoma in Pakistan: Results of 42 Population-Based Prevalence Surveys from the Global Trachoma Mapping Project.

  • Author(s): Khan, Asad Aslam
  • Florea, Victor V
  • Hussain, Arif
  • Jadoon, Zahid
  • Boisson, Sophie
  • Willis, Rebecca
  • Dejene, Michael
  • Bakhtiari, Ana
  • Mpyet, Caleb
  • Pavluck, Alexandre L
  • Gillani, Munazza
  • Qureshi, Babar
  • Solomon, Anthony W
  • et al.

Purpose: Previous phases of trachoma mapping in Pakistan completed baseline surveys in 38 districts. To help guide national trachoma elimination planning, we set out to estimate trachoma prevalence in 43 suspected-endemic evaluation units (EUs) of 15 further districts.Methods: We planned a population-based trachoma prevalence survey in each EU. Two-stage cluster sampling was employed, using the systems and approaches of the Global Trachoma Mapping Project. In each EU, residents aged ≥1 year living in 30 households in each of 26 villages were invited to be examined by trained, certified trachoma graders. Questionnaires and direct observation were used to evaluate household-level access to water and sanitation.Results: One EU was not completed due to insecurity. Of the remaining 42, three EUs had trichiasis prevalence estimates in ≥15-year-olds ≥0.2%, and six (different) EUs had prevalence estimates of trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF) in 1-9-year-olds ≥5%; each EU requires trichiasis and TF prevalence estimates below these thresholds to achieve elimination of trachoma as a public health problem. All six EUs with TF prevalences ≥5% were in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province. Household-level access to improved sanitation ranged by EU from 6% to 100%. Household-level access to an improved source of water for face and hand washing ranged by EU from 37% to 100%.Conclusion: Trachoma was a public health problem in 21% (9/42) of the EUs. Because the current outbreak of extremely drug-resistant typhoid in Pakistan limits domestic use of azithromycin mass drug administration, other interventions against active trachoma should be considered here.

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