EZZ AL ARAB - 2001 



 


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2005

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20 Nov 2005

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TRACHOMA

  Ezz al Arab G, Tawfik N, El Gendy R, Anwar W, Courtright P. The burden of trachoma in the rural Nile Delta of Egypt: a survey of Menofiya governorate. Br J Ophthalmol 85(12):1406-10, 2001.

BACKGROUND: Evidence of widespread distribution of trachoma in Egypt had not been clarified as previous surveys were limited to individual communities which may not have been representative of the general population. The Nile Delta of Egypt presents a unique environment for trachoma to persist. Economic improvements in the past decade have affected even the poorest rural environments; availability of electricity is now found in many rural communities. Availability of water in Nile Delta has always been good but poor hygienic conditions have been the primary factor in trachoma transmission. A survey of trachoma was undertaken in Menofiya governorate to determine if Egypt should be identified as trachoma endemic and targeted for trachoma control efforts. METHODS: A multistage random cluster study design was used with the target population defined as adults aged 50 and over and children aged 2-6 years from throughout the governorate. Among preschool children only trachoma was graded while among adults presenting visual acuity and cause of vision loss or blindness were also recorded. Adults were interviewed regarding past trichiasis surgery; those currently with trichiasis or a history of trichiasis surgery were also interviewed regarding outcome of surgery. RESULTS: A total of 3272 children aged 2-6 and 3322 adults age 50+ were enumerated. Among the children 81.3% were examined and among the adults 73.0% were examined. Active trachoma (follicles (TF) and/or intense inflammation (TI)) was found among 36.5% (95% confidence interval (CI) 34.7-38.3%) of the children. TI was 1.89 (95% CI 1.22-2.94) times more common in rural children compared to urban children. The prevalence of trichiasis (TT) in adults was 6.5%; women had an age adjusted odds of trichiasis of 1.68 (95% CI 1.18-2.39) compared to men. Trichiasis was 2.11 times (95% CI 1.33-3.37) more common in rural Menofiya compared to urban Menofiya. TT accounts for blindness (presenting vision <3/60) in 8% of patients and accounts for 13.2% of visual impairment. Overall, trichiasis surgical coverage was 34.4%, slightly higher among men than women. The outcome of trichiasis surgery was poor in 44.4% of cases. CONCLUSION: Trachoma is a serious public health problem in Menofiya governorate and a significant contributor to vision loss. These findings would suggest that continued poor hygienic conditions in rural Egypt have limited the reduction of active trachoma even in the face of significant improvements in socioeconomic status. Furthermore, the high proportion of trichiasis surgery cases with a poor outcome would indicate a need to reassess current surgical practices in Egypt and improve training and monitoring.

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