Last edit: 2016-05-25 12:37:29.
Trachoma is a bacterial disease, caused by Chlamydia trachomatis. The disease is spread from one person to another through contact especially sharing of linen and also flies are responsible for transmitting the disease. Risk factors for the transmission of trachoma includes poor personal hygiene and environmental sanitation. In Tanzania mainland trachoma has been proven to be endemic in a total of 56 districts. Baseline survey conducted between 2004-6 in 50 districts, found that Active trachoma was endemic in 43 districts (prevalence > 10% among 1-9 year olds) while in the remaining 7 districts active trachoma was <10 % prevalence. The mean prevalence of active trachoma is 25.4%, whereas the mean prevalence of Trachomatous Trichiasis (TT) was found to be 2.7% with TT backlog estimate of 167,000 cases countrywide. In total Tanzania has an estimated 12.5 million people at risk for trachoma.
Following splitting of districts in the country, and the recently conducted baseline surveys, the total number of trachoma endemic councils is 56. Trachoma surveys are conducted using WHO Simplified grading system with 2 key indicators: 1. Trachomatous Inflammation follicular (TF) in children aged 1-9 years. 2. Trachomatous trichiasis (TT) in persons aged 15 + years.
Between 2012 and 2015 baseline surveys were conducted in 95 councils, while impact surveys were conducted in 28 councils. In Tanzania mainland, mapping of trachoma has been completed. District-wide Zithromax mass drug administration (MDA) started since 1999 and currently, 35 districts have qualified to stop zithromax MDA and will continue with surveillance as well as SF&E interventions. 20 districts underwent delayed zithromax MDA that was supposed to be conducted in 2015 but has been conducted between March and April 2016. New districts by which zithromax MDA was initiated this year are Chunya and Ngara. In Meatu district zithromax MDA has been restarted this year after impact assessment results which showed that prevalence is high.
TT is still widespread as a public health problem in a number of districts in Tanzania.TT prevalence from most recent surveys has been adjusted for age and sex, and the current estimated TT backlog is 104,481. This figure will be updated after trachoma impact surveys scheduled for June 2016 in 16 districts.
TT surgery camps are continuing in 6 regions ( Mtwara,Lindi,Pwani,Dodoma, Arusha and Manyara) under the support of Sight savers UK and DFID and under country coordination by Helen Keller International. Parallel to this, Sight savers Tanzania is supporting TT surgery camps in Ruvuma region( Songea DC, Namtumbo and Tunduru districts), Tanga region ( Korogwe , Handeni & Kilindi districts) and Pwani region ( Kisarawe district).