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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2020  |  Volume : 68  |  Issue : 5  |  Page : 750-754

Prevalence and risk factors of active trachoma among primary school children of Amhara Region, Northwest Ethiopia


Department of Statistics, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Amhara, Ethiopia

Date of Submission21-Feb-2019
Date of Acceptance14-Jun-2019
Date of Web Publication20-Apr-2020

Correspondence Address:
Mr. Garoma W Basha
Department of Statistics, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, P.O. Box: 79, Amhara
Ethiopia
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/ijo.IJO_143_19

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  Abstract 


Purpose: Trachoma is the leading infectious cause of blindness in the world. It is caused by conjunctival infection with the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors of active trachoma among primary school children in Amhara region, Ethiopia. Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted from April to May 2018. Data on sociodemographic and health characteristics of a child were collected using a structured questionnaire and eye examination for this study. Bivariate and multiple logistic regression statistical analyses were used to determine the prevalence and risk factors of active trachoma among primary school children living in Amhara region, Northwest Ethiopia. Results: The prevalence of active trachoma among primary school children living in Amhara region was 10.3% in this study. The results of multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that children who wash their face at least two times per day (AOR = 0.37, 95% CI: 0.14–0.97), children with no flies on their face (AOR = 0.12, 95% CI: 0.10–0.30) had significantly lower risk of being infected by trachoma and children of households who spend 30 min to 1 h to fetch water (AOR = 10.02, 95% CI: 1.10–93.53) had significantly higher risk of being infected by trachoma in the study area. Conclusion: The result of this study showed that risk factors: frequency of face washing per day, presence of flies on child's face during interview, and time required to fetch water for the household were found to be significantly associated with trachoma. Therefore, the study recommends that any concerned bodies directed at prevention and control of trachoma among primary school children living in Amhara region should give special attention to these factors. Implementing the World Health Organization (WHO) endorsed SAFE (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness, Environmental improvement) strategy was recommended for the effective prevention and control of trachoma in the study area since the prevalence of active trachoma, 10.3% was higher than the WHO recommended thresholds (>10% prevalence).

Keywords: Active trachoma, logistic regression, prevalence, primary school, risk factor


How to cite this article:
Basha GW, Woya AA, Tekile AK. Prevalence and risk factors of active trachoma among primary school children of Amhara Region, Northwest Ethiopia. Indian J Ophthalmol 2020;68:750-4

How to cite this URL:
Basha GW, Woya AA, Tekile AK. Prevalence and risk factors of active trachoma among primary school children of Amhara Region, Northwest Ethiopia. Indian J Ophthalmol [serial online] 2020 [cited 2020 May 26];68:750-4. Available from: http://www.ijo.in/text.asp?2020/68/5/750/282885



Trachoma, a neglected tropical disease, is the world's leading infectious cause of blindness.[1],[2] It is caused by conjunctival infection with the bacterium Chlamydia trachomatis. The infection spreads through personal contact (via hands, clothes, or bedding) and by flies that have been in contact with discharge from the eyes or nose of an infected person. Trachoma is the disease of poverty that affects over one billion of the world's poorest people.[3],[4] It affects 37 countries in Africa, Asia, Central and South America, Australia, and the Middle East. High burden of trachoma disease is found in Africa especially sub-Saharan Africa.[5],[6] Eighteen million cases of active trachoma (85% of all cases globally) and 3.2 million cases of trichiasis (44% of all cases globally) are thought to exist in 29 of the 47 countries in World Health Organization's (WHOs) African Region. Ethiopia and South Sudan have the highest prevalence of active trachoma: In some areas of these countries, active disease is present in more than 50% of children aged 1–9 years and trichiasis affects more than 10% of adults.[5]

According to the recent WHO weekly epidemiological record, trachoma is estimated to be responsible for the visual impairment of about 1.9 million people, of whom 1.2 million are irreversibly blind. Approximately 158 million people worldwide were living in trachoma-endemic districts and were at risk of trachoma blindness.[7] The burden of trachoma on affected individuals and communities is enormous. According the WHO factsheets, the economic cost in terms of lost productivity from blindness and visual impairment is estimated at US$2.9– US$5.3 billion annually, increasing to US$8 billion when trichiasis is included. While children are the most susceptible to infection, the blinding effects of repeated infection do not usually develop until adulthood. Women are up to four times more likely as men to develop trichiasis, in part because of repeated exposure to their children's infections.[7] The disabling effects of vision loss further compounds other common challenges faced by poor and marginalized people.

The Global Alliance for the Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 (GET-2020) was established by WHO in 1997 and endorsed by the World Health Assembly (WHA) in 1998 through WHA Resolution 51:11 for the purpose of coordinating and providing technical and logistical support for member states in the process of implementing the SAFE (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness, Environmental improvement) strategy.[8] It was stated that the goal of the GET 2020 Alliance is to achieve the global elimination of blinding trachoma as a public health problem by mobilizing resources with the cooperation of a worldwide partnership of member states, nongovernmental organizations, and the private sector.

Number of studies have been done in the Amhara regional state previously.[9],[10],[11] But, there is no or limited number of studies on prevalence and determinants of active trachoma among primary school children in the study area. Therefore, this study was intended to determine the prevalence and risk factors of active trachoma among primary school children living in Amhara region, Northwest Ethiopia.


  Methods Top


Data source

Data on sociodemographic and health characteristics of a child were collected using a structured questionnaire and eye examination in this study. Information about a child was collected by interviewing household head. Child's eye examination was done by ophthalmic nurses.

Ethical clearance

The ethical clearance to conduct this research was obtained from science college post graduate, research, and community service office (number RCS/097/2010). The informed consent of each study participants was obtained from the family of students.

Study design and study population

A cross-sectional study was conducted from April to May 2018. Regular primary school children of age 5–9 years old living in Amhara region were included in this study.

Sampling procedure

Simple random sampling technique was applied to select study participants. A total of 312 primary school children were randomly selected from some primary schools in Amhara region.

Study variables

The response variable of this study was presence of sign of active trachoma (TF/TI) in either eyes of the child which can be recorded as follows:



The independent variables or the risk factors of this study were: sex of the child, age of the child, frequency of face washing per day, using soap when washing face, face cleanness, presence of flies on child's face, occupation of household head, education level of household head, family size, household's main energy source, time required to fetch water for the household, water lasts all the year, latrine availability, availability of solid waste disposal facility, and keeping animals in living house.

Statistical analysis

Binary logistic regression model was used to determine the prevalence and risk factors of active trachoma among primary school children living in Amhara region, Northwest Ethiopia.


  Results Top


The gender distribution of study participants was almost the same, male (49.4%) and female (50.6%). Majority of the study participants were in age group 7–9 (94.2%). About 84.9% of children washed their face at least two times per day. About 90.1% of the children used soap to wash their face and 253 (81.1%) of the children had clean face during the interview. There were flies on the face of 49 (15.7%) children during interview. Majority of the children were born to farmer household (26.6%). Most of the households (45.8%) had primary education and used wood as their main energy source (84%). Majority of the family of the child had family size of 4–6 (51.6%). About 205 (65.7%) households spend less than 30 min to fetch water. About 16.3% of children's family had no latrine and 37.2% had no solid waste disposal facility [Table 1].
Table 1: Background characteristics of study participants, 2018

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Prevalence of active trachoma and associated factors

The prevalence of active trachoma (TF or TI) among primary school children of 5–9 years old living in Amhara region was 10.3% [95% CI: 6.9–13.6].

The results of multiple logistic regression analysis revealed that risk factors: frequency of face washing per day, presence of flies on child's face, and time required to fetch water for the household were significantly associated with active trachoma at 5% level of significance. [Table 2] presents the unadjusted (crude odds ratio) and adjusted odds ratio including the 95% CI.
Table 2: Factors associated with active trachoma (TF or TI) among primary school children living in Amhara region, 2018

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Children who washed their face at least two times per day were 63% (AOR = 0.37; CI: 0.14–0.97) less likely to be infected by active trachoma compared to children who washed their face less than two times per day. Children with no flies on their face during interview were 88% (AOR = 0.12; CI: 0.1–0.3) less likely to be infected by trachoma compared to children with flies on their face during interview. The odds of having active trachoma was almost 10 times higher among children of households who spend 30 min to 1 h to fetch water for the household (AOR = 10.02, 95% CI: 0.33–0.78) compared to children of households who had piped water in their compound [Table 2].


  Discussion Top


The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and risk factors of active trachoma among primary school children between 5–9 years of age living in Amhara region, Northwest Ethiopia. The prevalence of active trachoma (TF or TI) was 10.3% in this study, which was lower compared to other studies conducted in Ethiopia.[9],[11],[12]

The result of this study showed that frequency of washing face per day was significantly associated with active trachoma. Children who wash their face at least two times per day were less likely to be infected by active trachoma. This is due the fact that as the number of face washing increases, the facial cleanliness of the child improves. This minimizes the chance of the child to be infected by trachoma. The result was consistent with other studies.[9],[12]

Presence of flies on the face of children was another important risk factor of active trachoma in this study. Children with no flies on their face were less likely to be infected by trachoma compared to children with flies on their face. This is due to the fact that flies act as spreading agent of trachoma, transferring Chlamydia trachomatis from the eyes of infected children to the eyes of uninfected children. This result was consistent with previous studies [11],[13],[14],[15],[16] which showed that the presence of flies on the face had increased the chance of the child being infected by trachoma.

This study revealed that children of households who spend 30 min to 1 h to fetch water were 10 times more likely to be infected by active trachoma compared to children of households who had piped water in their compound. This might be due to the importance of water for facial cleanliness and for hygiene. One of the components of SAFE strategy is facial cleanliness. To implement this strategy, availability of water is crucial to reduce the transmission of trachoma. This result was in line with other studies.[9],[17],[18]


  Conclusion Top


The results of this study showed that risk factors: frequency of face washing per day, presence of flies on child's face during interview and time required to fetch water for the household were significantly associated with trachoma. Therefore, study recommends that any concerned bodies directed at prevention and control of trachoma among primary school children living in Amhara region should give special attention to these factors. Implementing the WHO endorsed SAFE strategy was recommended for the effective prevention and control of trachoma in the study area since the prevalence of active trachoma, 10.3% was higher than the WHO recommended thresholds (>10% prevalence).

Financial support and sponsorship

Nil.

Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.



 
  References Top

1.
Bero B, Macleod C, Alemayehu W, Gadisa S, Abajobir A, Adamu Y, et al. Prevalence of and risk factors for trachoma in Oromia Regional State of Ethiopia: Results of 79 population-based prevalence surveys conducted with the global trachoma mapping project. Ophthalmic Epidemiol2016;23:392-405.  Back to cited text no. 1
    
2.
Macleod CK, Butcher R, Mudaliar U, Natutusau K, Pavluck AL, Willis R, et al. Low prevalence of ocular Chlamydia trachomatis infection and active trachoma in the Western Division of Fiji. PLoS Negl Trop Dis2016;10:e0004798.  Back to cited text no. 2
    
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Kasi PM, Gilani AI, Ahmad K, Janjua NZ. Blinding trachoma: A disease of poverty. PLoS Med2004;1:e44.  Back to cited text no. 3
    
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Habtamu E, Wondie T, Aweke S, Tadesse Z, Zerihun M, Zewdie Z, et al. Trachoma and relative poverty: A case-control study. PLoS Negl Trop Dise2015;9:e0004228.  Back to cited text no. 4
    
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Andualem B, Beyene B, Kassahun M, Kassa A, Zerihun M. Trachoma elimination: Approaches, experiences and performance of interventions in Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia. J Eye Dis Disord2018;4:2.  Back to cited text no. 5
    
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Abebo TA, Tesfaye DJ. Prevalence and distribution of active trachoma among children 1-9 years old at Leku town, southern Ethiopia. Curr Pediatr Res2017;21:507-513.  Back to cited text no. 6
    
7.
World Health Organization. Weekly epidemiological record. 2018.  Back to cited text no. 7
    
8.
World Health Organization. Global Alliance for the Elimination of Blinding Trachoma by 2020: Progress report on elimination of trachoma, 2012. Wkly Epidemiol Rec2013;88:242-51.  Back to cited text no. 8
    
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Nigusie A, Berhe R, Gedefaw M. Prevalence and associated factors of active trachoma among childeren aged 1-9 years in rural communities of Gonji Kolella district, West Gojjam zone, North West Ethiopia. BMC Res Notes2015;8:641.  Back to cited text no. 9
    
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Ferede AT, Dadi AF, Tariku A, Adane AA. Prevalence and determinants of active trachoma among preschool-aged children in Dembia District, Northwest Ethiopia. Infect Dis Poverty2017;6:128.  Back to cited text no. 10
    
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Ketema K, Tiruneh M, Woldeyohannes D, Muluye D. Active trachoma and associated risk factors among children in Baso Liben District of East Gojjam, Ethiopia. BMC Public Health2012;12:1105.  Back to cited text no. 11
    
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Anteneh ZA, Getu WY. Prevalence of active trachoma and associated risk factors among children in Gazegibela district of Wagehemra Zone, Amhara region, Ethiopia: Community-based cross-sectional study. Trop Dis Travel Med Vaccines2016;2:5.  Back to cited text no. 12
    
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Hägi M, Schémann J-F, Mauny F, Momo G, Sacko D, Traoré L, et al. Active trachoma among children in Mali: Clustering and environmental risk factors. PLoS Negl Trop Dis2010;4:e583.  Back to cited text no. 13
    
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Schemann J, Sacko D, Malvy D, Momo G, Traore L, Bore O, et al. Risk factors for trachoma in Mali. Int J Epidemiol2002;31:194-201.  Back to cited text no. 14
    
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Edwards T, Harding-Esch EM, Hailu G, Andreason A, Mabey DC, Todd J, et al. Risk factors for active trachoma and Chlamydia trachomatis infection in rural Ethiopia after mass treatment with azithromycin. Trop Med Int Health2008;13:556-65.  Back to cited text no. 15
    
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Mengistu K, Shegaze M, Woldemichael K, Gesesew H, Markos Y. Prevalence and factors associated with trachoma among children aged 1-9 years in Zala district, gamo gofa Zone, southern ethiopia. Clin Ophthalmol2016;10:1663-70.  Back to cited text no. 16
    
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Hsieh Y-H, Bobo LD, Quinn TC, West SK. Risk factors for trachoma: 6-year follow-up of children aged 1 and 2 years. Am J Epidemiol2000;152:204-211.  Back to cited text no. 17
    
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Stocks ME, Ogden S, Haddad D, Addiss DG, McGuire C, Freeman MC. Effect of water, sanitation, and hygiene on the prevention of trachoma: A systematic review and meta-analysis. PLoS Med2014;11:e1001605.  Back to cited text no. 18
    



 
 
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