Trachoma Rapid Assessments In Unity And Northern Bahr-el-ghazal States, Southern Sudan
MetadataShow full item record
BACKGROUND: Trachoma is thought to be endemic over large parts of Southern Sudan, but empirical evidence is limited. While some areas east of the Nile have been identified as highly endemic, few trachoma surveys have been conducted in the remainder of the country. This study aimed to determine whether trachoma constitutes a problem to public health in Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal and Unity State, both located west of the Nile. METHODS AND PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: Trachoma rapid assessments (TRA) were conducted between July and September 2009. Seven villages in Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State and 13 villages in Unity State were surveyed; an average of 50 children (age 1-9 years) and 44 women (age 15 years and above) were examined per village. Samples for analysis using the APTIMA Combo-2 nucleic acid amplification test (NAAT) were collected from participants with active trachoma in eight villages in Unity State. In Northern Bahr-el-Ghazal State, only three children with active trachoma (trachomatous inflammation follicular (TF) and/or trachomatous inflammation intense (TI)) and two women with trichiasis (TT) were found, in two of the seven villages surveyed. In Unity State, trachoma was endemic in all thirteen villages surveyed; the proportion of children with active trachoma ranged from 33% to 75% between villages, while TF in children ranged from 16% to 44%. Between 4% to 51% of examined women showed signs of TT. Samples from active trachoma cases tested using the NAAT were positive for Chlamydia trachomatis infection for 46.6% of children and 19.0% of women. CONCLUSIONS: Trachoma presents a major problem to public health Unity State, while the disease is of low priority in Northern-Bahr-el-Ghazal State. Implementation of a population-based prevalence survey is now required in Unity State to generate baseline prevalence data so that trachoma interventions can be initiated and monitored over time.