A Population-Based Trachoma Prevalence Survey Covering Seven Districts of Sangha and Likouala Departments, Republic of the Congo

31 Dec 2018
Missamou F, Marlhand H, Dzabatou-Babeaux ASP, Sendzi S, Bernasconi J, D’Souza S, Bakhtiari A, Millar T, Willis R, Bengraïne K, Resnikoff S, Solomon AW,

Purpose: We set out to estimate the prevalence of trachoma and access to water and sanitation in seven suspected-trachoma-endemic districts of northern Congo, surveyed as a single evaluation unit.

Methods: From a complete list of rural villages in the seven districts, we systematically selected 22 with probability proportional to village size. In selected villages, we included all households where there were fewer than 25 in total, or used compact segment sampling to select a group of approximately 20 households by random draw. In each selected household, all consenting residents aged ≥1 year were examined by Global Trachoma Mapping Project-certified trachoma graders, and data collected on household-level access to water and sanitation.

Results: In November and December 2015, 466 households were visited in 22 villages, and 2081 (88%) of 2377 residents of those households were examined. No examined individual had trichiasis. The age-adjusted prevalence of the active trachoma sign trachomatous inflammation—follicular (TF) in 1–9-year-olds was 2.5% (95%CI 0.9–4.5%). Only 39% (95%CI 35–44%) of households had access to an improved source of drinking water. Only 10% (95%CI 7–13%) of households had access to an improved sanitation facility.

Conclusion: Trachoma is not a public health problem in this part of Congo. Access to water and sanitation is inadequate.