Prevalence of Trachoma in Ethiopia


  • Yemane Berhane
  • Alemayehu Worku
  • Abebe Bejiga
  • Liknaw Adamu
  • Wondu Alemayehu
  • Amir Bedri
  • Zegeye Haile
  • Allehone Ayalew
  • Yilikal Adamu
  • Teshome Gebre
  • Tewodros D. Kebede
  • Emily West
  • Sheila West


Abstract Background: Trachoma is known to be one of the major causes of blindness in Ethiopia. However recent data that indicate the disease burden were lacking. Objective: To determine the prevalence of active trachoma and trachomatous trichiasis at national and regional levels. Methods: A population based cross sectional design with multistage sampling strategy was used. All nine regional states and two city administrations of the country were involved in the survey. Survey subjects were drawn from permanent households. Trachoma grading was done by standardized ophthalmic nurses following the WHO grading system. Results: The national prevalence of active trachoma (either TF or TI) for children in the age group 1-9 year is 40.14%. Considerable regional variations are observed in the occurrence of active trachoma; the highest prevalence is in Amhara (62.6%), Oromia (41.3%), SNNP (33.2%), Tigray (26.5%), Somali (22.6%) and Gambella (19.1%). The rural prevalence of active trachoma is almost fourfold compared to the urban (42.5% rural Vs 10.7% urban). The national prevalence of trachomatous trichiasis (TT) is 3.1% with the highest prevalence in Amhara regional state (5.2%). Trachomatous trichiasis is higher in females compared to males (4.1% Vs 1.6%). Over 9 million 1-9 year old children live with active trachoma, and 1.3 million people 15 years and older have trachomatous trichiasis. Conclusion: Active Trachoma and trachomatous trichiasis are concentrated in the regions of the country with high population density, namely the Amhara, Oromia, and SNNP regional states. The prevalence of trachoma is three to fourfold in rural residents and among females. The demand for trachoma mass treatment with Azithromycin, provision of lid surgery to correct trachomatous trichiasis, and the need to improving hygienic conditions is enormous. [Ethiop.J.Health Dev. 2007;21(3):211-215]




How to Cite

Berhane, Y., Worku, A., Bejiga, A., Adamu, L., Alemayehu, W., Bedri, A., Haile, Z., Ayalew, A., Adamu, Y., Gebre, T., D. Kebede, T., West, E., & West, S. (2016). Prevalence of Trachoma in Ethiopia. The Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 21(3). Retrieved from

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