Prevalence of trachoma in Yemen: results of population-based prevalence surveys of 42 evaluation units in nine governorates

31 Dec 2018
Thabit AA, Al-Khatib T, Hail WHM, Al-Soofi A, Thabit NAA, Boather J, Abdullah A, Flueckiger RM, Pavluck AL, Willis R, Courtright P, Macleod CK, Solomon AW, & for the Global Trachoma Mapping Project

Purpose: In suspected trachoma-endemic areas of Yemen, we sought to determine the prevalence of the sign trachomatous inflammation—follicular (TF) in children aged 1–9 years, and the potential individual and household risk factors for TF in that age group. We also sought to determine the prevalence of trichiasis in adults aged ≥15 years.

Methods: We conducted a cluster-sampled survey in each of 42 evaluation units (EUs) comprising 166 rural districts of nine Governorates (Adh Dhale’a, Al Hodeihah, Al Jawf, Hadramoot, Hajjah, Ibb, Lahj, Ma’rib, Taiz) using the Global Trachoma Mapping Project systems and methodologies. Fieldwork was undertaken from September 2013 to March 2015. Risk factors for TF in children aged 1–9 years were evaluated using multilevel random effects logistic regression.

Results: The TF prevalence in children aged 1–9 years was ≥10% in two EUs (7 districts) and 5–9.9% in six EUs (24 districts). In adults aged ≥15 years, trichiasis prevalence was ≥0.2% in five EUs (19 districts). Being older (within the 1–9-year age bracket), being male, living in a household with higher numbers of children, and living in a household that reported the use of open defecation, were each independently associated with higher odds of TF.

Conclusions: These surveys provided baseline data to enable planning for trachoma elimination. The World Health Organization Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 stands ready to assist Yemen once security considerations permit further surveys and implementation of control activities.