Australian Trachoma Surveillance Report 2012

Executive summary

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

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.

Screening coverage

  • A total of 195 (96%) of 204 at-risk communities were screened for trachoma during 2012 (Table 1.1).
  • Within these communities, 5,426(71%) of an estimated 7,676 resident children aged 5-9 years were screened.
  • Screening coverage in children aged 5-9 years in at-risk communities was 67% for the NT, 79% for SA, 73% for WA and 64% for Qld (Table 1.1).
  • Screening coverage of 5-9 year-old children in 2012 increased in NT, SA and WA (Figure 1.3)

Clean face prevalence

  • A total of 5,473 children aged 5-9 years in 193 at-risk communities were assessed for clean faces during 2012 (Table 1.1).
  • The overall prevalence of clean faces in children aged 5-9 years was 79%, with 75% in the NT, 90% in SA, 81% in WA and 70% in Qld (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 58% in the NT, 89% in SA, 57% in WA and 33% in Qld (Figure 1.5).

Trachoma prevalence

  • The overall prevalence of active trachoma among children aged 5-9 years in screened communities was 4%, with 4% in the NT and WA, 2% in SA, and nil in Qld (Table 1.1).
  • The prevalence of trachoma in 5-9-year-old children decreased since the last report in NT, SA and WA (Figure 1.6).
  • Of all communities that screened 5-9-year-old children, 63% (121/193) had no trachoma detected (Figure 1.9).
  • In 25% (48/193) of all communities that screened 5-9-year-old children endemic levels of trachoma (over 5%) were found (Figure 1.9).
  • In 8% (15/193) of all communities that screened 5-9-year-old children, hyperendemic levels of trachoma (over 20% prevalence of trachoma) were found (Figure 1.9).
  • The proportion of screened communities with no trachoma detected increased in the NT by 20%, in SA by 21% and in WA by 3% in 2012 compared to 2011.
  • The proportion of screened communities with endemic trachoma (> 5% prevalence) decreased in the NT, SA and WA in 2012 compared to 2011 (Figure 1.8).
  • Follicles consistent with Trachomatous inflammation – follicular were observed in one community in Qld, however PCR tests results were negative for Chlamydia trachomatis.

Treatment coverage

  • Trachoma cases requiring treatment were detected in 87 of 195 communities screened (Table 1.2).
  • Of all cases detected that required treatment, 95% received treatment (Table 1.2).
  • Estimated treatment coverage of contacts was 81% overall, 79% in the NT, 97% in SA and 93% in WA (Table 1.2).
  • No treatment was required for Qld (Table 1.2).

Trichiasis

  • Trichiasis screening coverage of adults over 40 years of age increased in the NT, WA and SA.
  • A total of 4,468 (31%) adults of an estimated at-risk population of 13,406 were reported to have been screened for trichiasis across the NT, SA and WA (Table 1.3).
  • Overall trichiasis prevalence among those screened was 2% with 61 cases reported in the NT, 11 in SA, and 22 in WA.
  • Trichiasis surgery was reported as undertaken for 16 people with trichiasis in 2012.

Health promotion activities

  • Of the at-risk communities screened, health promotion activities were reported to be taking place in 133 communities across all jurisdictions.