Australian Trachoma Surveillance Report 2012

Results—National results 2012

Trachoma screening and management data for 2012 were provided to the National Trachoma Surveillance and Reporting Unit by the Northern Territory (NT), South Australia (SA), Western Australia (WA) and Queensland (Qld). Data were analysed by region in the NT, SA and WA, with five regions in the NT, four in SA and four in WA. Queensland screened six communities and its data was aggregated for analysis. Jurisdictional authorities had designated 204 remote Aboriginal communities as being at risk of endemic trachoma in 2012.

Page last updated: 23 December 2013

National results

Figure 1.1 Trachoma prevalence in children aged 5-9 years, number of communities screened and number of at-risk communities in Australia, 2012


Trachoma prevalence in children 5-9 years in Australian communities that have been screened and/or are at-risk in 2012. For New South Wales, Victoria and Tasmania no communities were considered to be at-risk of trachoma, therefore no data was collected and screening was not undertaken. For the other states - QLD - no trachoma was detected; SA - 95% (36) of at-risk communities were screened in four at-risk regions with trachoma prevalence ranging from 0-<5%; NT - 93% (76) of at-risk communities were screened in five regions with trachoma prevalence ranging from 0-<10%; and WA - 99% (77) of at-risk communities were screened in four regions with trachoma prevalence ranging from 0-<20%. For these states, find detail in Figures 2.1, 3.1, 4.1 and 5.1.


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Figure 1.2 Number of communities screened* by year and jurisdiction, Australia, 2007 – 2012


Line graph shows trends for Northern Territory(NT), South Australia (SA), Western Australia (WA) and Queensland (Qld). 
WA gradual increasing trend from 55 in 2007 to 77 in 2012. NT changing trend from 60 in 2007, 40 in 2008, 65 in 2010, 68 in 2011, and 76 in 2012. SA increases in the number of communities screened from 12 in 2010 to 36 in 2012. QLD showed 6 communities screened in 2012.

* Including communities screened but not at risk


Figure 1.3 Population screening coverage* of children aged 5‑9 years by year and jurisdiction, Australia, 2007 – 2012


Line graph showing trends for 4 states (NT,SA, WA and Qld) WA increasing trend from 33 in 2007 to 73 in 2012. NT increasing trend from 25% in 2007, 67 in 2012. SA has no particular trend but an increase from 4% in 2009 to 79% in 2012. QLD covers 64% in 2012.

* Calculated as the number of children screened (in at‑risk and not‑at‑risk communities) in region containing at least one at‑risk community divided by the
estimated region’s population
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Figure 1.4 Proportion of screened children* aged 5‑9 years who had a clean face by year and jurisdiction, Australia, 2007 – 2012


Line graph shows trends for 4 states (NT,SA, WA and Qld) stable trend for NT, SA, and WA near 80% until 2011. SA increased to 88% in 2007 to dip before an increase of 90% for 2012; the NT decreased to 74% in 2009 until an increased to 75% in 2012, and WA decreased to 74% in 2011and increased to 81% in 2012.  QLD’s proportion was 70% for 2012.

* Including children in communities screened but not at risk


Figure 1.5 Proportion of communities screened meeting clean face target* in children aged 5‑9 years by year and jurisdiction, Australia, 2007 – 2012


Line graph shows trends for 4 states (NT,SA, WA and Qld). WA gradually decreased 68 % in 2007 to 57% in 2011 and 2012. NT’s prevalence dips from 80% in 2007 to 32% in 2008, but steadily increasing to 58% in 2012. SA has a similar trend as the NT of 75% in 2007, dipping to 36% in 2008 with an increase to 89% in 2012. QLD was approximately 33% in 2012

* Clean face target is at least 80% of children within the community having a clean face at time of screening (Mariotti SP, Pruss A. The SAFE strategy.
Preventing trachoma. A guide for environmental sanitation and improved hygiene. WHO/PBD/GET/00.7/Rev1. Geneva: World Health Organization; 2000)
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Figure 1.6 Trachoma prevalence among screened* children aged 5‑9 years by year and jurisdiction,Australia, 2007 – 2012


Line graph shows trends for 4 states (NT,SA, WA and Qld). NT’s prevalence spikes at 26% in 2008, remains consistent at 15% in  2007, 2009 and 2010 and decreases to 4% in 2012, SA’s prevalence dips to 2% in 2008, remains at 15% for 2007 and 2009, and decreases to 2% in 2012, WA has a consistent prevalence of 15% for 2007-2009 with a decreasing trend to 4% for 2012. Qld data was only collected for 2012, where there was 0% of trachoma prevalence.

* Including children in communities screened but not at risk


Figure 1.7 Proportion of screened* communities in which no trachoma was reported among children aged 5‑9 years by year and jurisdiction, Australia, 2007 – 2012


Line graph shows trends for 4 states (NT,SA, WA and Qld). 
NT has 43% in 2007, 10% in 2008, 28% in 2009, 24% in 2010, 34% in 2011, and 54% in 2012;
SA has 25% in 2007, 64% in 2008, 42% in 2009, 60% in 2011, and 81% in 2012; 
WA has 38% in 2007, 26% in 2008, 34% in 2009, 40% in 2010, 58% in 2011 and 61% in 2012; and 
QLD has 100% in 2012

* Including communities screened but not at risk
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Figure 1.8 Proportion of screened communities* with endemic trachoma† among children aged 5‑9 years by year and jurisdiction, Australia, 2007 – 2012


Line graph shows trends for 4 states (NT,SA, WA and Qld).
NT trend was inconsistent with 46% in 2007, 74% in 2008, 58% in 2009,  62% in 2010, 46% in 2011, and 28% in 2012;
SA trend was inconsistent with 75% in 2007, 36% in 2008, 42% in 2009 and 35% in 2011 and approximately 9% in 2012;
WA trend rose from 60% in 2007 to 67% in 2008 and then steadily decrease to 29% in 2012; and
QLD had 0% of screen communities with endemic trachoma in 2012.

* Including communities screened but not at risk
† Prevalence greater than 5%


Figure 1.9 Proportion of screened at‑risk communities* according to level of trachoma prevalence in 5‑9 year old children in 2012, by jurisdiction, Australia


Histogram graph showing the trends for 4 states (NT,SA, WA and Qld).
Within the NT 40 of 76 communities recorded no trachoma, 13 had >0% but <5% trachoma, 9 had > or equal to 5% but <10% and > or equal to 10% but <20%, and 5 had > or equal to 20%.
Within SA 29 of 36 communities had recorded no trachoma, 4 had >0% but <5% trachoma, and 1 each had > or equal to 5% but <10%, > or equal to 10% but <20%, and  > or equal to 20%.
Within WA 46 of 76 communities had recorded no trachoma, 7 had >0% but <5% trachoma, 10 had > or equal to 5% but <10%, 3 had > or equal to 10% but <20%, and 9 had > or equal to 20%.
QLDs 6 communities had no trachoma.

* Two communities in Western Australia did not screen children in the 5‑9 year age group.
† Number of communities
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Figure 1.10 Trachoma prevalence among 5‑9 year old children in screened at‑risk communities in 2012 by sex and jurisdiction, Australia


Column graph demonstrates the trends for 3 states (NT,SA and WA). Males in all jurisdictions had a slightly higher trachoma prevalence than females. NT boys recorded 5.3% and girls 3.7%, SA boys recorded 1.8% and girls at 1.0%, WA boys recorded 3.9% and girls at 3.1%.

Table 1.1 Trachoma screening coverage, trachoma prevalence and clean face prevalence among at-risk Aboriginal communities in 2012 by jurisdiction, Australia

* Calculated as the proportion of children with active trachoma in age groups 1-4 and 5-9 years, weighted by the estimated population sizes of each age group. This calculation accounts for uneven coverage with respect to age groups

Northern Territory South Australia Western Australia Queensland Total
Number of communities at risk 82 38 78 6 204
Number of communities screened 76 36 77 6 195
Trachoma prevalence 1-9 years (weighted by population)* 6% 1% 3% 0% 4%
Age group (years) 1-4 5-9 10-14 1-14 1-4 5-9 10-14 1-14 1-4 5-9 10-14 1-14 1-4 5-9 10-14 1-14 1-4 5-9 10-14 1-14
ABS estimated number of Aboriginal children at risk 3492 3981 3359 10832 942 961 855 2758 1965 2097 1896 5958 380 414 286 1080 6779 7453 6396 20628
Jurisdiction Estimated number of Aboriginal children at risk 3091 3893 3733 10717 1176 524 2306 1387 4217 224 385 96 705 3839 7760 5216 15639
Children examined for clean face 446 2640 1895 4981 14 930 323 1267 254 1709 811 2774 1 194 52 247 715 5473 3081 9269
Children with clean face 293 1972 1719 3984 9 843 320 1172 179 1379 713 2271 1 136 50 187 482 4330 2802 7614
Clean face prevalence 66% 75% 91% 80% 75% 90% 99% 93% 70% 81% 88% 82% 100% 70% 96% 76% 67% 79% 91% 82%
Children examined for trachoma 362 2610 1908 4880 14 933 322 1269 244 1689 793 2726 1 194 52 247 621 5426 3075 9122
Trachoma screening coverage 12% 67% 51% 46% 79% 47% 73% 57% 65% 0.4% 50% 54% 35% 16% 70% 59% 58%
Children with active trachoma 24 117 35 176 0 13 1 14 6 71 34 111 0 0 0 0 30 201 70 301
Active trachoma prevalence 7% 4% 2% 4% 0% 2% 0.3% 1% 2% 4% 4% 4% 0% 0% 0% 0% 5% 4% 2% 3%
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Table 1.2 Trachoma treatment coverage among at-risk Aboriginal communities in 2012 by jurisdiction, Australia

* Communicable Diseases Network Australia. Guidelines for the public health management of trachoma in Australia. March 2006

Northern Territory South Australia Western Australia Queensland Total
Number of communities at risk 82 38 78 6 204
Number of communities screened 76 36 77 6 195
Number of communities requiring treatment 43 9 35 0 87
Number of communities treated according to CDNA guidelines* 41 8 26 75
Age group (years) 0-4 5-9 10-14 15+ All 0-4 5-9 10-14 15+ All 0-4 5-9 10-14 15+ All 0-4 5-9 10-14 15+ All 0-4 5-9 10-14 15+ All
Active cases requiring treatment 24 117 35 176 0 13 1 14 6 71 34 111 30 201 70 301
Active cases who received treatment 23 114 33 170 13 1 14 6 68 29 103 29 195 63 287
% Active cases received treatment 96% 97% 94% 97% 100% 100% 100% 100% 96% 85% 93% 97% 97% 90% 95%
Estimated contacts requiring treatment 572 619 581 2532 4304 9 21 10 63 103 91 135 112 301 639 672 775 703 2896 5046
Number of contacts who received treatment 450 557 474 1911 3392 9 20 10 61 100 75 126 103 290 594 534 703 587 2262 4086
% estimated contacts received treatment 79% 90% 82% 75% 79% 100% 95% 100% 97% 97% 82% 93% 92% 96% 93% 79% 91% 83% 78% 81%
Estimated overall treatment coverage 79% 91% 82% 75% 80% 100% 97% 100% 97% 97% 84% 94% 90% 96% 93% 80% 92% 84% 78% 82%
Table 1.3 Trichiasis screening coverage, prevalence and treatment among Aboriginal adults aged over 40 years in 2012, Australia

* Twenty-eight further communities were screened in the NT, however findings were not made available to the NTSRU

Northern Territory South Australia Western Australia Total
Number of communities at risk 82 38 78 198
Number of communities screened for trichiasis 42 (51%)* 14 (37%) 52 (69%) 108 (52%)
Adult population of at-risk communities 7030 2246 4130 13406
Adults examined (% of estimated population at risk) 1278 (18%) 1061 (47%) 2129 (52%) 4468 (31%)
With trichiasis (% of adults examined) 61 (5%) 11 (1%) 22 (1%) 94 (2%)
Offered ophthalmic consultation 49 11 22 82
Surgery in past 12 months 5 2 9 16
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