Background: A number of suspected endemic districts with Trachoma have not been mapped
in Malawi, and this contributes to delays for scaling up trachoma control activities.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence of trachoma and associated risk factors
in one of the suspected endemic districts (Salima
District) in central Malawi and to generate information to guide policy decisions. Methods: A population-based
survey conducted in randomly selected clusters in Salima District (population 418,672),
centralMalawi. Children aged 1-9 years
and adults aged 15 and above were assessed for clinical signs of trachoma. Results: In total, 884 households were enumerated
within 36 clusters. A total of 2765 persons were examined for ocular signs of trachoma.
The prevalence of trachomatous inflammation,
follicular (TF) among children aged 1-9 years was 17.1% (95% CI 14.9-19.4).
The prevalence of trachoma trichiasis (TT) in women aged 15 years and above was
1.3% (CI 0.7-2.3), while the prevalence
in men was zero. The presence of a dirty face and lack of sanitation were
significantly associated with trachoma follicular (P < 0.001). Conclusion: Prevalence rate of trachoma
follicles (TF) in Central Malawi exceeds the WHO guidelines for the intervention
with mass antibiotic distribution (TF > 10%), and warrants the trachoma SAFE
(Surgery, Antibiotics, Face washing and Environmental hygiene) control strategy
to be undertaken in Salima District.