Controlling blinding trachoma in the Egyptian Delta: Integrating clinical, epidemiological and anthropological understandings.
Trachoma is a leading cause of preventable blindness in the world. The disease is hyperendemic in rural Egypt, where more than 75% of children show signs of having had at least one episode of infectious trachoma during the first year of life. Earlier anthropological and epidemiological observations suggested that trachoma prevalence would decrease if children had their faces washed with soap and water at least once each day. We conducted a community-based intervention to increase face washing in order to control trachoma. In this paper we describe the overall design of this intervention trial and discuss how we integrated anthropological methods and ethnographic data into the design of this successful multi-disciplinary, cross-cultural project to prevent trachoma.