Effect of water, sanitation and hygiene interventions on active trachoma in North and South Wollo zones of Amhara Region, Ethiopia: A Quasi-experimental study.
BACKGROUND: Trachoma is chronic kerato conjunctivitis, which is caused by repeated infection with Chlamydia trachomatis bacterium. It is hyper endemic in many rural areas of Ethiopia. The objective of this study was to measure the effect of water, sanitation and hygiene interventions on active trachoma in selected woredas of North and South Wollo zones of Amhara Region, Ethiopia.
METHODOLOGY: A community based quasi-experimental study was conducted from October 2014 to December 2015 among children aged 1-8 years at baseline and among one year older same children after intervention. A four-stage random cluster-sampling technique was employed to select study participants. From each selected household, one child was clinically assessed for active trachoma. Structured questionnaire was used to collect socio demographic and behavioral data. MacNemar test was applied to compare the prevalence of active trachoma between baseline and after the intervention period at both intervention and non-intervention study areas.
RESULTS: The prevalence of active trachoma was reduced from baseline prevalence of 26% to 18% after one-year intervention period in the intervention woredas (P≤0.001). MacNemar test result showed significant reduction of active trachoma prevalence after the intervention period in the intervention woredas compared to the non-intervention woredas (P≤0.001). Water, sanitation and hygiene related activities were significantly improved after the intervention period in the intervention woredas (P<0.05).
CONCLUSIONS: There was a significant reduction of active trachoma prevalence between the baseline and after the intervention period in the intervention woredas, but not in the non-intervention ones. Improved water, sanitation and hygiene interventions contributed to the reduction of active trachoma. However, the magnitude of active trachoma prevalence observed after the intervention is still very high in the studied areas of North and South Wollo Zones communities. To achieve the global trachoma elimination target by the year 2020 as set by the WHO, continued WaSH interventions and periodic monitoring, evaluation and reporting of the impact of WaSH on active trachoma is warranted.