Australia Trachoma Surveillance Report 2011

Executive Summary

Page last updated: 09 April 2013

Trachoma screening and management data for 2011 were provided to the National Trachoma Surveillance and Reporting Unit by the Northern Territory (NT), South Australia (SA), and Western Australia (WA). Data were analysed by region, with five regions in the NT, two in SA and four in WA. Jurisdictional authorities had designated 207 remote Aboriginal communities in these regions as being at risk of endemic trachoma in 2011.

Screening coverage

  • A total of 152 (73%) of 207 at-risk communities were screened for trachoma during 2011 (Figure 1.2, Table 1.1).
  • Within these communities, 4746 (65%) of an estimated 7338 resident children aged 5-9 were screened.
  • Screening coverage in children aged 5-9 years in at-risk communities was 65% for the NT, 77% for SA and 60% for WA (Table 1.1).
  • Screening coverage in 2011 increased in the NT and SA and decreased in WA compared to 2010 (Figure 1.3).

Clean face prevalence

  • A total of 4731 children aged 5-9 years in 152 at-risk communities were assessed for clean faces during 2011 (Table 1.1).
  • The overall prevalence of clean faces in children aged 5-9 years was 76%, with 74% in the NT, 88% in SA and 75% in WA (Table 1.1, Figure 1.4).
  • The proportion of screened communities with over 80% of children aged 5-9 years having a clean face was 53% in the NT, 67% in SA and 57% in WA (Figure 1.5).

Trachoma prevalence

  • The prevalence of trachoma among children aged 5-9 years in screened communities was 7%; with 7% in the NT, 4% in SA, and 8% in WA (Table 1.1).
  • The prevalence of trachoma in 5-9 year old children decreased in the NT and WA (Figure 1.7).
  • Approximately half (47%; 72/152) of all communities screened had no trachoma detected.
  • In 14% (21/152) of all communities screened, hyperendemic levels of trachoma (over 20% prevalence of trachoma) were found. Hyperendemic levels of trachoma were observed in nine of 65 screened communities in the NT, two of 19 screened communities in SA, and 10 of 68 screened communities in WA (Table 1.3).
  • The proportion of screened communities with no trachoma detected increased in NT and WA in 2011 compared to 2010.
  • The proportion of screened communities with endemic trachoma (>5% prevalence) decreased in NT and WA in 2011 compared to 2010 (Figure 1.10).Top of page
  • Due to the low screening coverage in previous years it was not possible to examine time trends in trachoma for SA.

Treatment coverage

  • Trachoma cases requiring treatment were detected in 80 of 152 communities screened (Table 1.2)
  • Of all cases detected that required treatment, 88% received treatment (Table 1.2).
  • Estimated treatment coverage of contacts was 65% overall, and 53% in the NT, 98% in SA and 85% in WA (Table 1.2).


  • Trichiasis screening coverage was low in all jurisdictions.
  • A total of 1179 adults (less than 10%) of an estimated at-risk population of 13,466 were reported to have been screened for trichiasis across the NT, SA and WA (Table 1.4).
  • Overall trichiasis prevalence among those screened was 2%, with nine cases reported in the NT, eight in SA, and two in WA.
  • No trichiasis surgery was reported.

Health Promotion activities and environmental conditions

  • Health promotion resources or programs and environmental conditions were not reported for the majority of communities.