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Systematic review of the incidence of post-operative trichiasis in Africa

Abstract Background Surgery for trichiasis is one of the pillars of the World Health Organization’s strategy for global elimination of trachoma as a public health problem. A high incidence of post-operative trichiasis or other poor surgical outcomes could jeopardize these efforts. In this review, we aimed to summarize the reported incidence of post-operative trichiasis and other poor outcomes of trichiasis surgery in Africa. Methods We conducted a systematic literature search using PubMed, Academic Search Premier, Africa-Wide Information, CINAHL and Health Source Nursing through EBSCOhost, Web of Science, and the Cochrane Central Register of Controlled Trials. Reference lists of included studies were also reviewed to identify further potentially relevant publications. All observational and interventional studies that measured post-operative trichiasis in Africa as an outcome of trichiasis surgery were included. Results Thirty-five papers reporting on 22 studies (9 interventional,13 observational; total 13,737 participants) met the inclusion criteria. The reported incidence of post-operative trichiasis in the included studies ranged from 2% (at 6 weeks after bilamellar tarsal rotation) to 69% (at 3 weeks after anterior lamellar repositioning). The incidence varied by surgical procedure, study design, and length of follow-up. Conclusion Trichiasis surgical outcomes should be improved. National trachoma programmes could benefit from identifying and adopting strategies to improve the performance and quality of their surgical service.

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Journal Article
Mwangi G
Courtright P
Solomon AW

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