Guidelines for the public health management of trachoma in Australia

These guidelines have been produced by the Communicable Diseases Network Australia (CDNA) and detail recommendations to ensure consistent trachoma screening, control measures and data collection in Australia.

Page last updated: 05 December 2014

Please note that the 2006 Trachoma Guidelines have been updated and program delivery should now align with the CDNA National Guidelines for the Public Health Management of Trachoma released in January 2014.

Trachoma is a contagious infection of the eye by specific strains of the bacteria Chlamydia trachomatis. Recurrent trachoma infection can cause scarring of the eyelid and inturned eyelashes (trichiasis), which can result in blindness if not treated with surgery. Trachoma is known to be endemic in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations in some parts of the Northern Territory, South Australia and Western Australia.

The current Guidelines were prepared by The Trachoma Guidelines Review Working Group, a sub-committee of the Trachoma Surveillance and Control Reference Group, with support from the National Trachoma Surveillance reporting Unit, The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales. The Guidelines were endorsed by the Communicable Disease Network Australia (CDNA) in September 2013 and released in January 2014. The Guidelines were prepared in accordance with the CDNA protocol for developing and revising Series of National Guidelines (SoNGs).

The Guidelines provide information relevant to the needs of medical practitioners, primary health care professionals, and State/Territory and regional public health units. The Guidelines establish a minimum best-practice approach for the public health management of trachoma.

The development of these guidelines has been funded by the Australian Government Department of Health.

Synopsis

In line with its Vision 2020 initiative, the World Health Organization (WHO) has adopted a resolution to eliminate blinding trachoma by 2020. These guidelines provide recommendations to ensure consistent trachoma screening, control measures and data collection in Australia.

The guidelines recommend that trachoma control should be the responsibility of State and Territory government-run regional population health units and that data on trachoma is collected in accordance with a minimal national trachoma dataset and is reported to a national trachoma database.

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