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Prevalence and distribution of active trachoma in children of less than five years of age in trachoma endemic regions of Oman in 2005



Prevalence and distribution of active trachoma in children of less than five years of age in trachoma endemic regions of Oman in 2005



Ophthalmic Epidemiology 13(3): 167-172



Background: Oman aims to achieve "Elimination of Blinding Trachoma" by 2010. For accreditation purposes, a trachoma survey was conducted in Oman in 2005, targeting children younger than five years. It was conducted in twenty wilayats (districts) of three trachoma endemic regions. The Omani children were surveyed at health institutions during a 'Polio Supplementary Immunization Campaign.' The authors present the outcome of this survey and recommend policies for trachoma control in the study area. Methods: Eye health care supervisors examined Omani children sequentially in health centres. However, the timings and days of visit to these health centres were selected randomly. The presence of trachoma follicular (TF) was noted in the tarsal area. The prevalence of TF was calculated and its distribution was mapped. Results: The coverage for the immunization of children of less than five years of age residing in the study area was greater than 97%. For trachoma evaluation, 4,205 children were examined. The prevalence of TF in children of less than five years of age was 0.59% (95% CI; 0.40-0.88). Sumail, Hamra and Izki wilayats of Dhakhiliya region and Barka and Al Awabi Wilayats of South Batinah region had a prevalence of TF greater than 1%. No wilayat of North Sharqiya region had >=1% TF. The gender variation in TF was not significant. (RR=0.97 [95% CI 0.46-2.05]) Conclusions: All the Wilayats of trachoma endemic regions of Oman seem to have a prevalence of TF lesser than 5%. The data on TF in children aged between six and ten will enable us to determine whether Oman has achieved the Ultimate Intervention Goals (UIGs) for the provision of antibiotic treatment for acute infection (the "A" component of the SAFE strategy for the "Elimination of Blinding Trachoma" for the year 2005). Such initiatives of trachoma screening during a supplementary vaccination campaign could prove a cost-effective approach for determining the trachoma status of a country.

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Accession: 016742168

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PMID: 16854770

DOI: 10.1080/09286580600611419


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