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Modelling trachoma post-2020: opportunities for mitigating the impact of COVID-19 and accelerating progress towards elimination

Abstract
Abstract Background The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted planned annual antibiotic mass drug administration (MDA) activities that have formed the cornerstone of the largely successful global efforts to eliminate trachoma as a public health problem. Methods Using a mathematical model we investigate the impact of interruption to MDA in trachoma-endemic settings. We evaluate potential measures to mitigate this impact and consider alternative strategies for accelerating progress in those areas where the trachoma elimination targets may not be achievable otherwise. Results We demonstrate that for districts that were hyperendemic at baseline, or where the trachoma elimination thresholds have not already been achieved after three rounds of MDA, the interruption to planned MDA could lead to a delay to reaching elimination targets greater than the duration of interruption. We also show that an additional round of MDA in the year following MDA resumption could effectively mitigate this delay. For districts where the probability of elimination under annual MDA was already very low, we demonstrate that more intensive MDA schedules are needed to achieve agreed targets. Conclusion Through appropriate use of additional MDA, the impact of COVID-19 in terms of delay to reaching trachoma elimination targets can be effectively mitigated. Additionally, more frequent MDA may accelerate progress towards 2030 goals.

More information

Type
Journal Article
Author
Borlase A
Blumberg S
Callahan EK
Deiner MS
Nash SD
Porco TC
Solomon AW
Lietman TM
Prada JM
Hollingsworth TD
Year of Publication
2021
Journal
Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
Volume
115
Issue
3
Number of Pages
213-221
Language
eng
ISSN Number
0035-9203, 1878-3503
DOI
10.1093/trstmh/traa171
Publication Language
eng