Publications by authors named "Jeremiah M Ngondi"

33 Publications

The Importance of Failure: How Doing Impact Surveys That Fail Saves Trachoma Programs Money.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2020 12 1;103(6):2481-2487. Epub 2020 Oct 1.

Department of Control of Neglected Tropical Diseases, World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland.

Trachoma programs use annual antibiotic mass drug administration (MDA) in evaluation units (EUs) that generally encompass 100,000-250,000 people. After one, three, or five MDA rounds, programs undertake impact surveys. Where impact survey prevalence of trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF) in 1- to 9-year-olds is ≥ 5%, ≥ 1 additional MDA rounds are recommended before resurvey. Impact survey costs, and the proportion of impact surveys returning TF prevalence ≥ 5% (the failure rate or, less pejoratively, the MDA continuation rate), therefore influence the cost of eliminating trachoma. We modeled, for illustrative EU sizes, the financial cost of undertaking MDA with and without conducting impact surveys. As an example, we retrospectively assessed how conducting impact surveys affected costs in the United Republic of Tanzania for 2017-2018. For EUs containing 100,000 people, the median (interquartile range) cost of continuing MDA without doing impact surveys is USD 28,957 (17,581-36,197) per EU per year, whereas continuing MDA solely where indicated by impact survey results costs USD 17,564 (12,158-21,694). If the mean EU population is 100,000, then continuing MDA without impact surveys becomes advantageous in financial cost terms only when the continuation rate exceeds 71%. For the United Republic of Tanzania in 2017-2018, doing impact surveys saved enough money to provide MDA for > 1,000,000 people. Although trachoma impact surveys have a nontrivial cost, they generally save money, providing EUs have > 50,000 inhabitants, the continuation rate is not excessive, and they generate reliable data. If all EUs pass their impact surveys, then we have waited too long to do them.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.20-0686DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7695084PMC
December 2020

Travel Is a Key Risk Factor for Malaria Transmission in Pre-Elimination Settings in Sub-Saharan Africa: A Review of the Literature and Meta-Analysis.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2020 10;103(4):1380-1387

RTI International, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

By sustaining transmission or causing malaria outbreaks, imported malaria undermines malaria elimination efforts. Few studies have examined the impact of travel on malaria epidemiology. We conducted a literature review and meta-analysis of studies investigating travel as a risk factor for malaria infection in sub-Saharan Africa using PubMed. We identified 22 studies and calculated a random-effects meta-analysis pooled odds ratio (OR) of 3.77 (95% CI: 2.49-5.70), indicating that travel is a significant risk factor for malaria infection. Odds ratios were particularly high in urban locations when travel was to rural areas, to more endemic/high transmission areas, and in young children. Although there was substantial heterogeneity in the magnitude of association across the studies, the pooled estimate and directional consistency support travel as an important risk factor for malaria infection.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.18-0456DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7543864PMC
October 2020

Knowledge, perceptions and experiences of trachoma among Maasai in Tanzania: Implications for prevention and control.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2019 06 24;13(6):e0007508. Epub 2019 Jun 24.

Department of Global Health and Development, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London, United Kingdom.

Background: The Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma has set the target for eliminating trachoma as a public health problem by 2020. However, challenges remain, including socio-cultural issues. Districts in Northern Tanzania, predominantly inhabited by the Maasai ethnic group, remain endemic for trachoma. We explored socio-cultural factors that may impact the elimination of trachoma.

Methods/findings: This study was nested within a larger ethnographic study of trachoma among Maasai in Northern Tanzania. We used stratified random sampling and semi-structured interviews to examine knowledge and understanding. Interviews were conducted and recorded in Maa, by a native Maa speaking trained interviewer. Transcripts were translated into English. A framework method for a content analysis was used. There was awareness of trachoma and basic symptoms. Yet understanding of etiology and prevention was poor. Trachoma was attributed to pollen, dust, and smoke. Water was recognized as beneficial, but seen as treatment and not prevention. Traditional medicines were most often used for treating conjunctival inflammation, with the most common being a rough leaf used to scratch the inside of the eyelid until it bleeds. Knowledge of mass drug administration (MDA) was inconsistent, although many thought it helped the community, but it was perceived as only for children and the sick. Many participants reported not taking azithromycin and some had no recollection of MDA six months earlier. There was little connection between childhood infection, trichiasis and related blindness. Trichiasis was often seen as a problem of old women, and treated locally by epilation.

Conclusion/significance: Understanding indigenous knowledge may help guide control programs, tailor them to local contexts, address local beliefs and dispel misunderstandings. There is an essential need to understand the social, cultural and political context of the target community to deliver effective programs. Despite limited knowledge, the community recognized trachoma as a public health problem. Results have implications for disease control programs in other marginalized communities.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0007508DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6611635PMC
June 2019

Understanding the spatial distribution of trichiasis and its association with trachomatous inflammation-follicular.

BMC Infect Dis 2019 Apr 30;19(1):364. Epub 2019 Apr 30.

London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, London, UK.

Background: Whilst previous work has identified clustering of the active trachoma sign "trachomatous inflammation-follicular" (TF), there is limited understanding of the spatial structure of trachomatous trichiasis (TT), the rarer, end-stage, blinding form of disease. Here we use community-level TF prevalence, information on access to water and sanitation, and large-scale environmental and socio-economic indicators to model the spatial variation in community-level TT prevalence in Benin, Cote d'Ivoire, DRC, Guinea, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Nigeria, Sudan and Uganda.

Methods: We fit binomial mixed models, with community-level random effects, separately for each country. In countries where spatial correlation was detected through a semi-variogram diagnostic check we then fitted a geostatistical model to the TT prevalence data including TF prevalence as an explanatory variable.

Results: The estimated regression relationship between community-level TF and TT was significant in eight countries. We estimate that a 10% increase in community-level TF prevalence leads to an increase in the odds for TT ranging from 20 to 86% when accounting for additional covariates.

Conclusion: We find evidence of an association between TF and TT in some parts of Africa. However, our results also suggest the presence of additional, country-specific, spatial risk factors which modulate the variation in TT risk.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12879-019-3935-1DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6492377PMC
April 2019

Completing Baseline Mapping of Trachoma in Uganda: Results of 14 Population-Based Prevalence Surveys Conducted in 2014 and 2018.

Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2018 12;25(sup1):162-170

g RTI International , Dar es Salaam , Tanzania.

Purpose: We aimed to estimate the prevalence of trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF) in children aged 1-9 years, trichiasis in adults aged ≥15 years, and water and sanitation (WASH) indicators in 12 suspected-endemic districts in Uganda.

Methods: Surveys were undertaken in 14 evaluation units (EUs) covering 12 districts. Districts were selected based on a desk review in 2014 (four districts) and trachoma rapid assessments in 2018 (eight districts). We calculated that 1,019 children aged 1-9 years were needed in each EU to estimate TF prevalence with acceptable precision and used three-stage cluster sampling to select 30 households in each of 28 (2014 surveys) or 24 (2018 surveys) villages. Participants living in selected households aged ≥1 year were examined for trachoma; thus enabling estimation of prevalences of TF in 1-9 year-olds and trichiasis in ≥15 year-olds. Household-level WASH access data were also collected.

Results: A total of 11,796 households were surveyed; 22,465 children aged 1-9 years and 24,652 people aged ≥15 years were examined. EU-level prevalence of TF ranged from 0.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] 0.1-0.7) to 3.9% (95% CI 2.1-5.8). EU-level trichiasis prevalence ranged from 0.01% (95% CI 0-0.11) to 0.81% (95% CI 0.35-1.50). Overall proportions of households with improved drinking water source, water source in yard or within 1km, and improved sanitation facilities were 88.1%, 23.0% and 23.9%, respectively.

Conclusion: TF was not a public health problem in any of the 14 EUs surveyed: antibiotic mass drug administration is not required in these districts. However, in four EUs, trichiasis prevalence was ≥ 0.2%, so public health-level trichiasis surgery interventions are warranted. These findings will facilitate planning for elimination of trachoma in Uganda.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09286586.2018.1546879DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6444199PMC
December 2018

Completing Baseline Mapping of Trachoma in Nepal: Results of 27 Population-Based Prevalence Surveys Conducted in 2013 and 2014.

Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2018 12;25(sup1):115-120

h Clinical Research Department , London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine , London , UK.

Purpose: Trachoma is endemic in parts of Nepal; implementation of the surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness, environmental improvement (SAFE) strategy started in 2002. Some suspected-endemic districts had not previously been mapped. We aimed to estimate the prevalences of trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF) and trichiasis in those districts.

Methods: Population-based prevalence surveys were undertaken in 27 districts. In each of those districts, two-stage cluster sampling was used to select a sample of 2000 children aged 1-9 years and 4000 adults aged ≥15 years from a total of 40 wards (clusters), drawn evenly from two subdistricts. Consenting eligible participants were examined for trachoma by Global Trachoma Mapping Project (GTMP)-certified graders, using the World Health Organization simplified grading system. Data were analyzed at district level using GTMP methods.

Results: A total of 43,200 households were surveyed, and 162,094 people were examined for trachoma. District-level TF prevalence in 1-9-year-olds ranged from 0% to 4.3% (95% confidence interval [CI] 2.4-6.2). Among adults aged ≥15 years, trichiasis prevalence ranged from 0% to 0.33% (95% CI 0.08-0.65).

Conclusion: TF was not a public health problem in any of the 27 districts surveyed; thus, antibiotic mass drug administration is not needed. In two districts (Dhanusa and Gorkha), trichiasis prevalence in adults aged ≥15 years was ≥0.2%; thus, further trichiasis surgery interventions at public health level are warranted to achieve elimination. These findings will facilitate planning for elimination of trachoma as a public health problem in Nepal.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09286586.2018.1489972DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6444275PMC
December 2018

Trachoma in Viet Nam: results of 11 surveillance surveys conducted with the Global Trachoma Mapping Project.

Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2018 12;25(sup1):93-102

k Clinical Research Department , London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine , London , UK.

Purpose: Following interventions against trachoma in Viet Nam, impact surveys conducted in 2003-2011 suggested that trachoma was no longer a public health problem. In 2014, we undertook surveillance surveys to estimate prevalence of trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF) and trichiasis.

Methods: A population-based prevalence survey was undertaken in 11 evaluation units (EUs) encompassing 24 districts, using Global Trachoma Mapping Project methods. A two-stage cluster sampling design was used in each EU, whereby 20 clusters and 60 children per cluster were sampled. Consenting eligible participants (children aged 1-9 years and adults aged ≥50 years) were examined for trachoma.

Results: A total of 9391 households were surveyed, and 20,185 participants (98.8% of those enumerated) were examined for trachoma. EU-level TF prevalence in 1-9-year-olds ranged from 0% to 1.6%. In one cluster (in Hà Giang Province), the percentage of children with TF was 10.3%. The overall pattern of cluster-level percentages of children with TF, however, was consistent with an exponential distribution, which would be consistent with trachoma disappearing. Among people aged ≥50 years, prevalence of trichiasis by EU ranged from 0% to 0.75%; these estimates are equivalent to 0-0.13% in all ages. The prevalence of trichiasis unknown to the health system among people aged ≥50 years, by EU, ranged from 0% to 0.17%, which is equivalent to 0-0.03% in all ages.

Conclusion: Findings suggest that trachoma is no longer a public health problem in any of the 11 EUs surveyed. However, given the high proportion of children with TF in one cluster in Hà Giang Province, further investigations will be undertaken.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09286586.2018.1477964DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6444206PMC
December 2018

Evaluating Response Time in Zanzibar's Malaria Elimination Case-Based Surveillance-Response System.

Am J Trop Med Hyg 2019 02;100(2):256-263

RTI International, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

As countries transition toward malaria elimination, malaria programs rely on surveillance-response systems, which are often supported by web- and mobile phone-based reporting tools. Such surveillance-response systems are interventions for elimination, making it important to determine if they are operating optimally. A metric to measure this by is timeliness. This study used a mixed-methods approach to investigate the response time of Zanzibar's malaria elimination surveillance-response system, Malaria Case Notification (MCN). MCN conducts both passive and reactive case detection, supported by a mobile phone-based reporting tool called Coconut Surveillance. Using data obtained from RTI International and the Zanzibar Malaria Elimination Program (ZAMEP), analysis of summary statistics was conducted to investigate the association of response time with geography, and time series techniques were used to investigate trends in response time and its association with the number of reported cases. Results indicated that response time varied by the district in Zanzibar (0.6-6.05 days) and that it was not associated with calendar time or the number of reported cases. Survey responses and focus groups with a cadre of health workers, district malaria surveillance officers, shed light on operational challenges faced during case investigation, such as incomplete health records and transportation issues, which stem from deficiencies in aspects of ZAMEP's program management. These findings illustrate that timely response for malaria elimination depends on effective program management, despite the automation of web-based or mobile phone-based tools. For surveillance-response systems to work optimally, malaria programs should ensure that optimal management practices are in place.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4269/ajtmh.17-0546DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6367619PMC
February 2019

Trachoma in the Democratic Republic of the Congo: Results of 46 Baseline Prevalence Surveys Conducted with the Global Trachoma Mapping Project.

Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2018 12 29;25(sup1):192-200. Epub 2017 Aug 29.

k Clinical Research Department , London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine , London , UK.

Purpose: Trachoma was suspected to be endemic in parts of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). We aimed to estimate prevalences of trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF), trichiasis, and water and sanitation (WASH) indicators in suspected-endemic Health Zones.

Methods: A population-based prevalence survey was undertaken in each of 46 Health Zones across nine provinces of DRC, using Global Trachoma Mapping Project methods. A two-stage cluster random sampling design was used in each Health Zone, whereby 25 villages (clusters) and 30 households per cluster were sampled. Consenting eligible participants (children aged 1-9 years and adults aged ≥15 years) were examined for trachoma by GTMP-certified graders; households were assessed for access to WASH.

Results: A total of 32,758 households were surveyed, and 141,853 participants (98.2% of those enumerated) were examined for trachoma. Health Zone-level TF prevalence in 1-9-year-olds ranged from 1.9-41.6%. Among people aged ≥15 years, trichiasis prevalences ranged from 0.02-5.1% (95% CI 3.3-6.8). TF prevalence in 1-9-year-olds was ≥5% in 30 Health Zones, while trichiasis prevalence was ≥0.2% in 37 Health Zones.

Conclusion: Trachoma is a public health problem in 39 of 46 Health Zones surveyed. To meet elimination targets, 37 Health Zones require expanded trichiasis surgery services while 30 health zones require antibiotics, facial cleanliness and environmental improvement interventions. Survey data suggest that trachoma is widespread: further surveys are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09286586.2017.1306869DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6319181PMC
December 2018

Artemisinin combination therapy mass drug administration in a setting of low malaria endemicity: programmatic coverage and adherence during an observational study in Zanzibar.

Malar J 2017 08 14;16(1):332. Epub 2017 Aug 14.

RTI International, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Background: Mass drug administration (MDA) appears to be effective in reducing the risk of malaria parasitaemia. This study reports on programmatic coverage and compliance of MDA using artemisinin-based combination therapy (ACT) in four shehias (smallest administration unit) that had been identified as hotspots through Zanzibar's malaria case notification surveillance system.

Methods: Mass drug administration was done in four shehias selected on the basis of: being an established malaria hot spot; having had mass screening and treatment (MSaT) 2-6 weeks previously; and exceeding the epidemic alert threshold of 5 cases within a week even after MSaT. Communities were sensitized and MDA was conducted using a house-to-house approach. All household members, except pregnant women and children aged less than 2 months, were provided with ACT medicine. Two weeks after the MDA campaign, a survey was undertaken to investigate completion of ACT doses.

Results: A total of 8816 [97.1% of eligible; 95% confidence interval (CI) 96.8-97.5] people received ACT. During post MDA surveys, 2009 people were interviewed: 90.2% reported having completed MDA doses; 1.9% started treatment but did not complete dosage; 4.7% did not take treatment; 2.0% were absent during MDA and 1.2% were ineligible (i.e. infants <2 months and pregnant women). Main reasons for failure to complete treatment were experience of side-effects and forgetting to take subsequent doses. Failure to take treatment was mainly due to fear of side-effects, reluctance due to lack of malaria symptoms and caregivers forgetting to give medication to children.

Conclusion: Mass drug administration for malaria was well accepted by communities at high risk of malaria in Zanzibar, with high participation and completion rates. Further work to investigate the potential of MDA in accelerating Zanzibar's efforts towards malaria elimination should be pursued.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12936-017-1982-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5557321PMC
August 2017

Surveillance for sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine resistant malaria parasites in the Lake and Southern Zones, Tanzania, using pooling and next-generation sequencing.

Malar J 2017 06 5;16(1):236. Epub 2017 Jun 5.

Malaria Branch, Division of Parasitic Diseases and Malaria, US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Background: Malaria in pregnancy (MiP) remains a major public health challenge in areas of high malaria transmission. Intermittent preventive treatment in pregnancy (IPTp) with sulfadoxine-pyrimethamine (SP) is recommended to prevent the adverse consequences of MiP. The effectiveness of SP for IPTp may be reduced in areas where the dhps581 mutation (a key marker of high level SP resistance) is found; this mutation was previously reported to be common in the Tanga Region of northern Tanzania, but there are limited data from other areas. The frequency of molecular markers of SP resistance was investigated in malaria parasites from febrile patients at health centres (HC) in seven regions comprising the Lake and Southern Zones of mainland Tanzania as part of the ongoing efforts to generate national-wide data of SP resistance.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in the outpatient departments of 14 HCs in seven regions from April to June, 2015. 1750 dried blood spot (DBS) samples were collected (117 to 160 per facility) from consenting patients with positive rapid diagnostic tests for malaria, and no recent (within past 2 months) exposure to SP or related drugs. DNA was extracted from the DBS, pooled by HC, and underwent pooled targeted amplicon deep sequencing to yield estimates of mutated parasite allele frequency at each locus of interest.

Results: The dhps540 mutation was common across all 14 sites, ranging from 55 to 98.4% of sequences obtained. Frequency of the dhps581 mutation ranged from 0 to 2.4%, except at Kayanga HC (Kagera Region, Lake Zone) where 24.9% of sequences obtained were mutated. The dhfr164 mutation was detected only at Kanyanga HC (0.06%).

Conclusion: By pooling DNA extracts, the allele frequency of mutations in 14 sites could be directly determined on a single deep-sequencing run. The dhps540 mutant was very common at all locations. Surprisingly, the dhps581 was common at one health center, but rare in all the others, suggesting that there is geographic micro-heterogeneity in mutant distribution and that accurate surveillance requires inclusion of multiple sites. A better understanding of the effect of the dhps581 mutant on the efficacy of IPTp-SP is needed.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12936-017-1886-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5460401PMC
June 2017

Applying a mobile survey tool for assessing lymphatic filariasis morbidity in Mtwara Municipal Council of Tanzania.

Mhealth 2017 15;3. Epub 2017 Mar 15.

RTI International, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Background: A number of methods have been used to estimate lymphatic filariasis (LF) morbidity, including: routine programmatic data, cluster random surveys and the "town crier" method. Currently, few accurate data exist on the global LF morbidity burden in Tanzania. We aimed to estimate prevalence of lymphedema and hydrocele in Mtwara Municipal Council using mobile phone based survey.

Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted among adults of Mtwara Municipal council with access to mobile phones. A sample size of at least 384 completed surveys was required to estimate prevalence of lymphedema (both males and females) and hydrocele (males only) morbidity of 50% within a 5% error margin given a 5% level of significance and 95% confidence level. Eligible mobile phone users received a short message text (SMS) requesting consent to participate in the survey. A total of 10 questions were administered via interactive SMS through the GeoPoll, a survey platform developed by Mobile Accord (www.geopoll.com).

Results: The survey was completed over a period of 4 days. A total of 8,759 surveys were sent to mobile phone subscribers of whom 1,330 (15.2%) opted-in to complete the survey. A total of 492 (37.0% of those opted-in, 384 male and 108 female) people completed the survey. Lymphedema and hydrocele signs were reported by 20.9% (95% CI, 17.4-24.8) and 20.6% (95% CI, 16.6-25.0) of respondents, respectively. Majority of hydrocele patients (59.5%) and 46.6% of lymphedema patients reported having sought treatment. The proportion of patients reporting similar symptoms among friends and relatives was 66.0% and 70.9% for lymphedema and hydrocele, respectively.

Conclusions: The findings suggest that mobile phone based surveys are a practical approach of undertaking morbidity surveys. While further surveys are needed to verify the findings, this approach can be expected to encourage identification of lymphedema and hydrocele morbidity at community level and provide evidence where further morbidity surveys are warranted.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.21037/mhealth.2017.03.01DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5427189PMC
March 2017

Progress of Trachoma Mapping in Mainland Tanzania: Results of Baseline Surveys from 2012 to 2014.

Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2016 12 24;23(6):373-380. Epub 2016 Oct 24.

i RTI International , Dar es Salaam , Tanzania.

Purpose: Following surveys in 2004-2006 in 50 high-risk districts of mainland Tanzania, trachoma was still suspected to be widespread elsewhere. We report on baseline surveys undertaken from 2012 to 2014.

Methods: A total of 31 districts were surveyed. In 2012 and 2013, 12 at-risk districts were selected based on proximity to known trachoma endemic districts, while in 2014, trachoma rapid assessments were undertaken, and 19 of 55 districts prioritized for baseline surveys. A multi-stage cluster random sampling methodology was applied whereby 20 villages (clusters) and 36 households per cluster were surveyed. Eligible participants, children aged 1-9 years and people aged 15 years and older, were examined for trachoma using the World Health Organization simplified grading system.

Results: A total of 23,171 households were surveyed and 104,959 participants (92.3% of those enumerated) examined for trachoma signs. A total of 44,511 children aged 1-9 years and 65,255 people aged 15 years and older were examined for trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF) and trichiasis, respectively. Prevalence of TF varied by district, ranging from 0.0% (95% confidence interval, CI 0.0-0.1%) in Mbinga to 11.8% (95% CI 6.8-16.5%) in Chunya. Trichiasis prevalence was lowest in Urambo (0.03%, 95% CI 0.00-0.24%) and highest in Kibaha (1.08%, 95% CI 0.74-1.43%).

Conclusion: Only three districts qualified for mass drug administration with azithromycin. Trichiasis is still a public health problem in many districts, thus community-based trichiasis surgery should be considered to prevent blindness due to trachoma. These findings will facilitate achievement of trachoma elimination objectives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09286586.2016.1236974DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5116913PMC
December 2016

Baseline Trachoma Surveys in Kaskazini A and Micheweni Districts of Zanzibar: Results of Two Population-Based Prevalence Surveys Conducted with the Global Trachoma Mapping Project.

Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2016 12 24;23(6):412-417. Epub 2016 Oct 24.

j RTI International , Dar es Salaam , Tanzania.

Purpose: Based on health care records and trachoma rapid assessments, trachoma was suspected to be endemic in Kaskazini A and Micheweni districts of Zanzibar. This study aimed to investigate the prevalence of trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF), and trachomatous trichiasis (TT) in each of those districts.

Methods: The survey was undertaken in Kaskazini A and Micheweni districts on Unguja and Pemba Islands, respectively. A multi-stage cluster random sampling design was applied, whereby 25 census enumeration areas (clusters) and 30 households per cluster were included. Consenting eligible participants (children aged 1-9 years and people aged 15 years and older) were examined for trachoma using the World Health Organization simplified grading system.

Results: A total of 1673 households were surveyed and 6407 participants (98.0% of those enumerated) were examined for trachoma. Examinees included a total of 2825 children aged 1-9 years and 3582 people aged 15 years and older. TF prevalence in 1-9-year-olds was 2.7% (95% confidence interval, CI, 2.7-4.1%) in Kazkazini A and 11.4% (95% CI 6.6-16.5%) in Micheweni. Among people aged 15 years and older, TT prevalence was 0.01% (95% CI 0.00-0.04%) in Kazkazini A and 0.21% (95% CI 0.08-0.39%) in Micheweni.

Conclusion: Trachoma is a public health problem in Micheweni district, where implementation of all four components of the SAFE strategy (surgery, antibiotics, facial cleanliness, and environmental improvement), including mass drug administration with azithromycin, is required. These findings will facilitate planning for trachoma elimination.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/09286586.2016.1235206DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5116987PMC
December 2016

Pregnant women and infants as sentinel populations to monitor prevalence of malaria: results of pilot study in Lake Zone of Tanzania.

Malar J 2016 07 29;15(1):392. Epub 2016 Jul 29.

RTI International, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Background: As malaria control interventions are scaled-up, rational approaches are needed for monitoring impact over time. One proposed approach includes monitoring the prevalence of malaria infection among pregnant women and children at the time of routine preventive health facility (HF) visits. This pilot explored the feasibility and utility of tracking the prevalence of malaria infection in pregnant women attending their first antenatal care (ANC) visit and infants presenting at 9-12 months of age for measles vaccination.

Methods: Pregnant women attending first ANC and infants nine to 12 months old presenting for measles vaccination at a non-probability sample of 54 HFs in Tanzania's Lake Zone (Mara, Mwanza and Kagera Regions) were screened for malaria infection using a malaria rapid diagnostic test (RDT) from December 2012 to November 2013, regardless of symptoms. Participants who tested positive were treated for malaria per national guidelines. Data were collected monthly.

Results: Overall 89.9 and 78.1 % of expected monthly reports on malaria infection prevalence were received for pregnant women and infants, respectively. Among 51,467 pregnant women and 35,155 infants attending routine preventive HF visits, 41.2 and 37.3 % were tested with RDT, respectively. Malaria infection prevalence was 12.8 % [95 % confidence interval (CI) 11.3-14.3] among pregnant women and 11.0 % (95 % CI 9.5-12.5) among infants, and varied by month. There was good correlation of the prevalence of malaria among pregnant women and infants at the HF level (Spearman rho = 0.6; p < 0.001). This approach is estimated to cost $1.28 for every person tested, with the RDT accounting for 72 % of the cost.

Conclusions: Malaria infection was common and well correlated among pregnant women and infants attending routine health services. Routine screening of these readily accessible populations may offer a practical strategy for continuously tracking malaria trends, particularly seasonal variation. Positivity rates among afebrile individuals presenting for routine care offer an advantage as they are unaffected by the prevalence of other causes of febrile illness, which could influence positivity rates among febrile patients presenting to outpatient clinics. The data presented here suggest that in addition to contributing to clinical management, ongoing screening of pregnant women could be used for routine surveillance and detection of hotspots.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12936-016-1441-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4966757PMC
July 2016

School Distribution as Keep-Up Strategy to Maintain Universal Coverage of Long-Lasting Insecticidal Nets: Implementation and Results of a Program in Southern Tanzania.

Glob Health Sci Pract 2016 06 27;4(2):251-63. Epub 2016 Jun 27.

RTI International, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Tanzania successfully scaled up coverage of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLINs) through mass campaigns. To sustain these gains, a school-based approach was piloted in the country's Southern Zone starting in 2013, called the School Net Program 1 (SNP1). We report on the design, implementation, monitoring, and outputs of the second round (SNP2) undertaken in 2014. SNP2 was conducted in all schools in Lindi, Mtwara, and Ruvuma regions, targeting students in primary (Standards 1, 3, 5, and 7) and secondary (Forms 2 and 4) schools and all teachers. In Lindi region, 2 additional classes (Standards 2 and 4) were targeted. LLIN distribution data were managed using an Android software application called SchoolNet. SNP2 included 2,337 schools, 473,700 students, and 25,269 teachers. A total of 5,070 people were trained in LLIN distribution (487 trainers and 4,583 distributors), and 4,392 (434 ward and 3,958 village) community change agents undertook sensitization and mobilization. A total of 507,775 LLINs were distributed to schools, with 464,510 (97.9% of those registered) students and 24,206 (95.8% of those registered) school teachers receiving LLINs. LLIN ownership and use is expected to have increased, potentially further reducing the burden of malaria in the Southern Zone of Tanzania.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.9745/GHSP-D-16-00040DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4982249PMC
June 2016

Efficacy, persistence and vector susceptibility to pirimiphos-methyl (Actellic 300CS) insecticide for indoor residual spraying in Zanzibar.

Parasit Vectors 2015 Dec 9;8:628. Epub 2015 Dec 9.

RTI International, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Background: Indoor residual spraying (IRS) of households with insecticide is a principal malaria vector control intervention in Zanzibar. In 2006, IRS using the pyrethroid lambda-cyhalothrine was introduced in Zanzibar. Following detection of pyrethroid resistance in 2010, an insecticide resistance management plan was proposed, and IRS using bendiocarb was started in 2011. In 2014, bendiocarb was replaced by pirimiphos methyl. This study investigated the residual efficacy of pirimiphos methyl (Actellic 300CS) sprayed on common surfaces of human dwellings in Zanzibar.

Methods: The residual activity of Actellic 300CS was determined over 9 months through bioassay tests that measured the mortality of female Anopheles mosquitoes, exposed to sprayed surfaces under a WHO cone. The wall surfaces included; mud wall, oil or water painted walls, lime washed wall, un-plastered cement block wall and stone blocks. Insecticide susceptibility testing was done to investigate the resistance status of local malaria vectors against Actellic 300CS using WHO protocols; Anopheline species were identified using PCR methods.

Results: Baseline tests conducted one-day post-IRS revealed 100% mortality on all sprayed surfaces. The residual efficacy of Actellic 300CS was maintained on all sprayed surfaces up to 8 months post-IRS. However, the bioassay test conducted 9 months post-IRS showed the 24 h mortality rate to be ≤80% for lime wash, mud wall, water paint and stone block surfaces. Only oil paint surface retained the recommended residual efficacy beyond 9 months post-IRS, with mortality maintained at ≥97 %. Results of susceptibility tests showed that malaria vectors in Zanzibar were fully (100%) susceptible to Actellic 300CS. The predominant mosquito vector species was An. arabiensis (76.0%) in Pemba and An. gambiae (83.5%) in Unguja.

Conclusion: The microencapsulated formulation of pirimiphos methyl (Actellic 300CS) is a highly effective and appropriate insecticide for IRS use in Zanzibar as it showed a relatively prolonged residual activity compared to other products used for the same purpose. The insecticide extends the residual effect of IRS thereby making it possible to effectively protect communities with a single annual spray round reducing overall costs. The insecticide proved to be a useful alternative in insecticide resistance management plans.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-015-1239-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4674920PMC
December 2015

Taking local ownership: government and household contribution to indoor residual spraying in Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania.

Int Health 2016 07 26;8(4):299-306. Epub 2015 Nov 26.

RTI International, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Background: While donor funding is instrumental in initiation and implementation of malaria control efforts, national government contributions are key to local ownership and sustainability. This study explored in-kind contributions of local government and households towards the cost of indoor residual spraying (IRS) interventions in Tanzania.

Methods: Data were collected through interviews with local government officials and technical teams in the IRS project. Household contribution was based on provision of water for IRS. Government contributions included government-provided warehouse and office space, vehicles, and staff labour. In-kind contributions were aggregated at the district, regional and national level. Calculations were based on proportion of total costs of IRS from 2010 to 2012.

Results: The mainland government provided larger amounts of in-kind contribution in absolute value (mean of US$454 200) compared to Zanzibar (US$89 163). On average, in-kind contribution was 5.5% of total costs in Zanzibar and 2.9% in mainland. The proportion of government in-kind contribution was higher in Zanzibar versus the mainland (86% vs 50%) while household contribution was higher in mainland compared to Zanzibar (50% vs 14%).

Conclusion: Government involvement, particularly through budgetary allocations and increased in-kind contribution, needs to be encouraged for malaria control efforts to be locally owned, managed and sustained.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/inthealth/ihv066DOI Listing
July 2016

Determinants of Bed Net Use in Southeast Nigeria following Mass Distribution of LLINs: Implications for Social Behavior Change Interventions.

PLoS One 2015 2;10(10):e0139447. Epub 2015 Oct 2.

The Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America; Agnes Scott College, Public Health Department, Decatur, Georgia, United States of America.

Millions of long-lasting insecticide treated nets (LLINs) have been distributed as part of the global malaria control strategy. LLIN ownership, however, does not necessarily guarantee use. Thus, even in the ideal setting in which universal coverage with LLINs has been achieved, maximal malaria protection will only be achieved if LLINs are used both correctly and consistently. This study investigated the factors associated with net use, independent of net ownership. Data were collected during a household survey conducted in Ebonyi State in southeastern Nigeria in November 2011 following a statewide mass LLIN distribution campaign and, in select locations, a community-based social behavior change (SBC) intervention. Logistic regression analyses, controlling for household bed net ownership, were conducted to examine the association between individual net use and various demographic, environmental, behavioral and social factors. The odds of net use increased among individuals who were exposed to tailored SBC in the context of a home visit (OR = 17.11; 95% CI 4.45-65.79) or who received greater degrees of social support from friends and family (ptrend < 0.001). Factors associated with decreased odds of net use included: increasing education level (ptrend = 0.020), increasing malaria knowledge level (ptrend = 0.022), and reporting any disadvantage of bed nets (OR = 0.39; 95% CI 0.23-0.78). The findings suggest that LLIN use is significantly influenced by social support and exposure to a malaria-related SBC home visit. The malaria community should thus further consider the importance of community outreach, interpersonal communication and social support on adoption of net use behaviors when designing future research and interventions.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0139447PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4591998PMC
June 2016

The Capacity of Eye Care Services for Patients with Glaucoma in Botswana.

Ophthalmic Epidemiol 2015 21;22(6):403-8. Epub 2015 Jul 21.

g Department of Public Health and Primary Care , Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge , Cambridge , UK.

Purpose: To evaluate current delivery of glaucoma care in Botswana; in particular, the service infrastructure available and glaucoma-related workload.

Methods: A multi-center cross-sectional study was undertaken comprising government eye care institutions and ophthalmic personnel across Botswana. Data on human resources, equipment types and numbers, diagnostic criteria routinely used, treatments routinely provided, and new and repeat glaucoma consultations were obtained through quantitative and qualitative surveys.

Results: In 27 government eye care institutions there were two general ophthalmologists, neither of whom had a subspecialty interest in glaucoma, 64 ophthalmic nurses, two optometrists, one low vision therapist, one refractionist, and two equipment technicians. Only 8.5% of available ophthalmic human resources were taken up with provision of glaucoma care. About 1/3 of hospitals did not have tonometers, most primary hospitals lacked slit lamp biomicroscopes and most hospitals lacked sensitive diagnostic equipment. A diagnosis of glaucoma was made by either an ophthalmic nurse or an ophthalmologist, but only 10% of institutions could meet recommendations for follow-up assessment. Topical glaucoma medications were prescribed by almost all hospital clinics, usually by ophthalmic nurses. Drug choices were largely determined by local availability. Glaucoma surgery accounted for 0.8% of total eye operations. Glaucoma patients took up 8.5% of total clinic visits. The total number of glaucoma visits was highest in the two hospitals with ophthalmologists. New glaucoma cases took up 10.3% of total glaucoma visits.

Conclusion: This study highlights the challenges faced in caring for glaucoma patients in Botswana; in particular, lack of professional human resources, equipment and availability of effective treatments.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3109/09286586.2015.1010689DOI Listing
July 2016

Use of insecticide quantification kits to investigate the quality of spraying and decay rate of bendiocarb on different wall surfaces in Kagera region, Tanzania.

Parasit Vectors 2015 Apr 22;8:242. Epub 2015 Apr 22.

RTI International, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

Background: Bendiocarb was introduced for the first time for Indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) in Tanzania in 2012 as part of the interim national insecticide resistance management plan. This move followed reports of increasingly alarming levels of pyrethroid resistance across the country. This study used the insecticide quantification kit (IQK) to investigate the intra-operational IRS coverage and quality of spraying, and decay rate of bendiocarb on different wall surfaces in Kagera region.

Methods: To assess intra-operational IRS coverage and quality of spraying, 104 houses were randomly selected out of 161,414 sprayed houses. A total of 509 samples (218 in Muleba and 291 in Karagwe) were obtained by scraping the insecticide samples from wall surfaces. To investigate decay rate, 66 houses (36 in Muleba and 30 in Karagwe) were selected and samples were collected monthly for a period of five months. Laboratory testing of insecticide concentration was done using IQK(TM) [Innovative Vector Control Consortium].

Results: Of the 509 samples, 89.5% met the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended concentration (between 100-400 mg/m(2)) for IRS target dosage. The proportion of samples meeting WHO standards varied between Karagwe (84.3%) and Muleba (96.3%) (p < 0.001). Assessment of quality of spraying at house level revealed that Muleba (84.8%) had a significantly higher proportion of households that met the expected target dosage (100-400 mg/m(2)) compared to Karagwe (68.9%) (p < 0.001). The quality of spraying varied across different wall substrates in both districts. Evaluation of bendiocarb decay showed that the proportion of houses with recommended concentration declined from 96.9%, 93.5% and 76.2% at months one, two, and three post IRS, respectively (p-trend = 0.03). The rate of decay increased in the fourth and fifth month post spraying with only 55.9% and 26.3% houses meeting the WHO recommendations, respectively.

Conclusion: IQK is an important tool for assessing IRS coverage and quality of spraying. The study found adequate coverage of IRS; however, residual life of bendiocarb was observed to be three months. Results suggest that in order to maintain the recommended concentrations with bendiocarb, a second spray cycle should be carried out after three months.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-015-0859-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4424830PMC
April 2015

The impact of different sprayable surfaces on the effectiveness of indoor residual spraying using a micro encapsulated formulation of lambda-cyhalothrin against Anopheles gambiae s.s.

Parasit Vectors 2015 Apr 3;8:203. Epub 2015 Apr 3.

RTI International, Dar es salaam, Tanzania.

Background: The type of sprayable surface impacts on residual efficacy of insecticide used in indoor residual spraying (IRS). However, there is limited data on common types of wall surfaces sprayed in Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania where IRS began in 2006 and 2007 respectively. The study investigated residual efficacy of micro-encapsulated lambda-cyhalothrin sprayed on common surfaces of human dwellings and domestic animal shelters in Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania.

Methods: An experimental hut was constructed with different types of materials simulating common sprayable surfaces in Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania. Surfaces included cement plastered wall, mud-daub, white-wash, wood, palm-thatch, galvanized iron-sheets, burnt-bricks, limestone and oil-paint. The World Health Organization (WHO) procedure for IRS was used to spray lambda-cyhalothrin on surfaces at the dose of 20-25 mg/m(2). Residual efficacy of insecticide was monitored through cone bioassay using laboratory-reared mosquitoes; Kisumu strain (R-70) of Anopheles gambiae ss. Cone bioassay was done every fortnight for a period of 152 days. The WHO Pesticide Evaluation Scheme (WHOPES) threshold (80% mortality) was used as cut-off point for acceptable residual efficacy.

Results: A total of 5,800 mosquitoes were subjected to contact cone bioassay to test residual efficacy of lambda-cyhalothrin. There was a statistically significant variation in residual efficacy between the different types of wall surfaces (r = 0.24; p < 0.001). Residual efficacy decreased with increasing pH of the substrate (r = -0.5; p < 0.001). Based on WHOPES standards, shorter residual efficacy (42-56 days) was found in wall substrates made of cement, limestone, mud-daub, oil paint and white wash. Burnt bricks retained the residual efficacy up to 134 days while galvanized iron sheets, palm thatch and wood retained the recommended residual efficacy beyond 152 days.

Conclusion: The study revealed a wide variation in residual efficacy of micro encapsulated formulation of lambda-cyhalothrin across the different types of wall surfaces studied. In areas where malaria transmission is bimodal and wall surfaces with short residual efficacy comprise > 20% of sprayable structures, two rounds of IRS using lambda-cyhalothrin should be considered. Further studies are required to investigate the impact of sprayable surfaces on residual efficacy of other insecticides commonly used for IRS in Zanzibar and mainland Tanzania.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13071-015-0795-4DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4392635PMC
April 2015

The clinical characteristics of patients with glaucoma presenting to Botswana healthcare facilities: an observational study.

BMJ Open 2014 Dec 3;4(12):e005965. Epub 2014 Dec 3.

Institute of Public Health, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Objective: This study aimed to establish the clinical characteristics of patients with glaucoma attending eye care facilities in Botswana, and management of glaucoma among patients who received care in these facilities. The study also aimed to calculate the number of new diagnoses of glaucoma within the glaucoma service.

Design: A prospective, hospital-based, observational study.

Setting: A multicentre study was undertaken in government-run eye departments in Botswana from June to August 2012.

Participants: All patients with a diagnosis of glaucoma attending clinics at seven study sites were invited to participate.

Outcome Measures: Examination findings, diagnosis and management were extracted from individual patient-held medical charts. Sociodemographic characteristics, patient knowledge and understanding of glaucoma were assessed through face-to-face interviews. In addition, details of outpatient attendances for 2011 were collected from 21 government-run hospitals.

Results: The majority of the 366 patients interviewed had a diagnosis of primary glaucoma (86.6%). The diagnoses were mainly made by ophthalmologists (48.6%) and ophthalmic nurses (44.0%). Many patients (38.5%) had been symptomatic for over 6 months before visiting an eye clinic. The mean presenting intraocular pressure was 28.2 mm Hg (SD 11.9 mm Hg). Most follow-up patients (79.2%) had not received surgery, however, many (89.5%) would accept surgery. Only 11.5% of participants had heard of glaucoma prior to diagnosis. Many participants (35.9%) did not understand glaucoma after being diagnosed. The majority (94.9%) of living first-degree relatives had never been examined. The number of newly diagnosed glaucoma cases for 2011 in the south of the country was 14.1/100,000; 95% CI (12.0 to 16.5), in the north it was 16.2/100,000; 95% CI (13.8 to 19.0).

Conclusions: Glaucoma is a significant burden that presents challenges to ophthalmic services in Botswana. Many patients have limited understanding of the condition and poor access to services. There is a need to develop a treatment infrastructure to include safe surgery and a reliable supply of effective medication.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmjopen-2014-005965DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4256541PMC
December 2014

Trachoma control as a vehicle toward international development and achievement of the millennium development goals.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2014 Sep 18;8(9):e3137. Epub 2014 Sep 18.

The Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America; Department of Public Health and Primary Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom; RTI International, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0003137DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4169372PMC
September 2014

Prevalence of trachoma at sub-district level in ethiopia: determining when to stop mass azithromycin distribution.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2014 Mar 13;8(3):e2732. Epub 2014 Mar 13.

The Carter Center, Atlanta, Georgia, United States of America.

Background: To eliminate blinding trachoma, the World Health Organization emphasizes implementing the SAFE strategy, which includes annual mass drug administration (MDA) with azithromycin to the whole population of endemic districts. Prevalence surveys to assess impact at the district level are recommended after at least 3 years of intervention. The decision to stop MDA is based on a prevalence of trachomatous inflammation follicular (TF) among children aged 1-9 years below 5% at the sub-district level, as determined by an additional round of surveys limited within districts where TF prevalence is below 10%. We conducted impact surveys powered to estimate prevalence simultaneously at the sub-district and district in two zones of Amhara, Ethiopia to determine whether MDA could be stopped.

Methodology: Seventy-two separate population-based, sub-district surveys were conducted in 25 districts. In each survey all residents from 10 randomly selected clusters were screened for clinical signs of trachoma. Data were weighted according to selection probabilities and adjusted for correlation due to clustering.

Principal Findings: Overall, 89,735 residents were registered from 21,327 households of whom 72,452 people (80.7%) were examined. The prevalence of TF in children aged 1-9 years was below 5% in six sub-districts and two districts. Sub-district level prevalence of TF in children aged 1-9 years ranged from 0.9-76.9% and district-level from 0.9-67.0%. In only one district was the prevalence of trichiasis below 0.1%.

Conclusions/significance: The experience from these zones in Ethiopia demonstrates that impact assessments designed to give a prevalence estimate of TF at sub-district level are possible, although the scale of the work was challenging. Given the assessed district-level prevalence of TF, sub-district-level surveys would have been warranted in only five districts. Interpretation was not as simple as stopping MDA in sub-districts below 5% given programmatic challenges of exempting sub-districts from a highly regarded program and the proximity of hyper-endemic sub-districts.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0002732DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3953063PMC
March 2014

Evaluation of community-based trichiasis surgery in Northwest Ethiopia.

Ethiop J Health Sci 2013 Jul;23(2):131-40

Department of Public Health and Pharmacy Care, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK.

Background: Surgery to correct trachomatous trichiasis (TT) is recommended to prevent blindness caused by trachoma. This study evaluated the outcomes of community-based trichiasis surgery with absorbable sutures, conducted in Amhara Regional State, Ethiopia.

Methods: A simple random sample of 431 patients was selected from surgical campaign records of which 363 (84.2%) were traced and enrolled into the study. Participants were interviewed and examined for trichiasis recurrence, complications of TT surgery and corneal opacity. Multilevel logistic regression models were used to explore the associations between trichiasis recurrence, corneal opacity and explanatory variables at the eye level.

Results: The prevalence of trichiasis recurrence was 9.4% (95% Confidence Interval [CI] 6.6-12.8) and corneal opacity was found in 14.3% (95% CI 10.9-18.3) of the study participants. The proportion of participants with complications of TT surgery was: granuloma 0.6% (95% CI 0.1-2.0); lid closure defects 5.5% (95% CI 3.4-8.4) and lid notching 16.8% (95% CI 13.1-21.1). No factors were identified for trichiasis recurrence. Corneal opacity was associated with increased age (Ptrend=0.001), more than 12 months post surgery (OR=2.7; 95%CI 1.3-5.6), trichiasis surgery complications (OR=2.9; 95%CI 1.4-5.9) and trichiasis recurrence (OR=2.5; 95%CI 1.0-6.3).

Conclusion: Prevalence of recurrent trichiasis and granuloma were lower than expected but higher for lid closure defects and lid notching. The majority of the participants reported satisfaction with the trichiasis surgery they had undergone. The findings suggest that recurrence of trichiasis impacts on the patients' risk of developing corneal opacity but longitudinal studies are required to confirm this.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3742890PMC
July 2013

Factors associated with mosquito net use by individuals in households owning nets in Ethiopia.

Malar J 2011 Dec 13;10:354. Epub 2011 Dec 13.

The Carter Center, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Background: Ownership of insecticidal mosquito nets has dramatically increased in Ethiopia since 2006, but the proportion of persons with access to such nets who use them has declined. It is important to understand individual level net use factors in the context of the home to modify programmes so as to maximize net use.

Methods: Generalized linear latent and mixed models (GLLAMM) were used to investigate net use using individual level data from people living in net-owning households from two surveys in Ethiopia: baseline 2006 included 12,678 individuals from 2,468 households and a sub-sample of the Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS) in 2007 included 14,663 individuals from 3,353 households. Individual factors (age, sex, pregnancy); net factors (condition, age, net density); household factors (number of rooms [2006] or sleeping spaces [2007], IRS, women's knowledge and school attendance [2007 only], wealth, altitude); and cluster level factors (rural or urban) were investigated in univariate and multi-variable models for each survey.

Results: In 2006, increased net use was associated with: age 25-49 years (adjusted (a) OR = 1.4, 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.2-1.7) compared to children U5; female gender (aOR = 1.4; 95% CI 1.2-1.5); fewer nets with holes (Ptrend = 0.002); and increasing net density (Ptrend < 0.001). Reduced net use was associated with: age 5-24 years (aOR = 0.2; 95% CI 0.2-0.3). In 2007, increased net use was associated with: female gender (aOR = 1.3; 95% CI 1.1-1.6); fewer nets with holes (aOR [all nets in HH good] = 1.6; 95% CI 1.2-2.1); increasing net density (Ptrend < 0.001); increased women's malaria knowledge (Ptrend < 0.001); and urban clusters (aOR = 2.5; 95% CI 1.5-4.1). Reduced net use was associated with: age 5-24 years (aOR = 0.3; 95% CI 0.2-0.4); number of sleeping spaces (aOR [per additional space] = 0.6, 95% CI 0.5-0.7); more old nets (aOR [all nets in HH older than 12 months] = 0.5; 95% CI 0.3-0.7); and increasing household altitude (Ptrend < 0.001).

Conclusion: In both surveys, net use was more likely by women, if nets had fewer holes and were at higher net per person density within households. School-age children and young adults were much less likely to use a net. Increasing availability of nets within households (i.e. increasing net density), and improving net condition while focusing on education and promotion of net use, especially in school-age children and young adults in rural areas, are crucial areas for intervention to ensure maximum net use and consequent reduction of malaria transmission.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-10-354DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3258293PMC
December 2011

The prevalence of blinding trachoma in northern states of Sudan.

PLoS Negl Trop Dis 2011 31;5(5):e1027. Epub 2011 May 31.

Federal Ministry of Health, Khartoum, Sudan.

Background: Despite historical evidence of blinding trachoma, there have been no widespread contemporary surveys of trachoma prevalence in the northern states of Sudan. We aimed to conduct district-level surveys in this vast region in order to map the extent of the problem and estimate the need for trachoma control interventions to eliminate blinding trachoma.

Methods And Findings: Separate, population based cross-sectional surveys were conducted in 88 localities (districts) in 12 northern states of Sudan between 2006 and 2010. Two-stage cluster random sampling with probability proportional to size was used to select the sample. Trachoma grading was done using the WHO simplified grading system. Key prevalence indicators were trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF) in children aged 1-9 years and trachomatous trichiasis (TT) in adults aged 15 years and above. The sample comprised 1,260 clusters from which 25,624 households were surveyed. A total of 106,697 participants (81.6% response rate) were examined for trachoma signs. TF prevalence was above 10% in three districts and between 5% and 9% in 11 districts. TT prevalence among adults was above 1% in 20 districts (which included the three districts with TF prevalence >10%). The overall number of people with TT in the population was estimated to be 31,072 (lower and upper bounds = 26,125-36,955).

Conclusion: Trachoma mapping is complete in the northern states of Sudan except for the Darfur States. The survey findings will facilitate programme planning and inform deployment of resources for elimination of trachoma from the northern states of Sudan by 2015, in accordance with the Sudan Federal Ministry of Health (FMOH) objectives.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pntd.0001027DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3104955PMC
September 2011

Which nets are being used: factors associated with mosquito net use in Amhara, Oromia and Southern Nations, Nationalities and Peoples' Regions of Ethiopia.

Malar J 2011 Apr 17;10:92. Epub 2011 Apr 17.

The Carter Center, Atlanta, GA, USA.

Background: There has been recent large scale-up of malaria control interventions in Ethiopia where transmission is unstable. While household ownership of long-lasting insecticidal nets (LLIN) has increased greatly, there are concerns about inadequate net use. This study aimed to investigate factors associated with net use at two time points, before and after mass distribution of nets.

Methods: Two cross sectional surveys were carried out in 2006 and 2007 in Amhara, Oromia and SNNP regions. The latter was a sub-sample of the national Malaria Indicator Survey (MIS 3R). Each survey wave used multi-stage cluster random sampling with 25 households per cluster (224 clusters with 5,730 households in Baseline 2006 and 245 clusters with 5,910 households in MIS 3R 2007). Net ownership was assessed by visual inspection while net utilization was reported as use of the net the previous night. This net level analysis was restricted to households owning at least one net of any type. Logistic regression models of association between net use and explanatory variables including net type, age, condition, cost and other household characteristics were undertaken using generalized linear latent and mixed models (GLLAMM).

Results: A total of 3,784 nets in 2,430 households were included in the baseline 2006 analysis while the MIS 3R 2007 analysis comprised 5,413 nets in 3,328 households. The proportion of nets used the previous night decreased from 85.1% to 56.0% between baseline 2006 and MIS 3R 2007, respectively. Factors independently associated with increased proportion of nets used were: LLIN net type (at baseline 2006); indoor residual spraying (at MIS 3R 2007); and increasing wealth index at both surveys. At both baseline 2006 and MIS 3R 2007, reduced proportion of nets used was independently associated with increasing net age, increasing damage of nets, increasing household net density, and increasing altitude (>2,000 m).

Conclusion: This study identified modifiable factors affecting use of nets that were consistent across both surveys. While net replacement remains important, the findings suggest that: more education about use and care of nets; making nets more resistant to damage; and encouraging net mending are likely to maximize the huge investment in scale up of net ownership by ensuring they are used. Without this step, the widespread benefits of LLIN cannot be realized.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/1475-2875-10-92DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3107818PMC
April 2011