Objective: To estimate the burden (disability-adjusted life years) and economic impact (potential productivity loss) associated with trachomatous visual loss.
Data: National survey data on trachomatous blindness or visual impairment since 1980.
Methods: The primary results summarized studies for countries with known or suspected blinding trachoma within World Development Report demographic regions. The number of cases was based on the year 2000 population. The years of life with disability calculation used the age-sex distribution of trachomatous visual loss. The one-year potential productivity loss calculation used the agricultural value added per worker in 1998.
Results: Countries with known or suspected blinding trachoma have 3.8 million cases of blindness and 5.3 million cases of low vision and a potential productivity loss of 2.9 billion US dollars (1995 US dollars). Prevalent cases of trachomatous visual loss yield 39 million lifetime DALYs.
Conclusions: For resource allocation, the burden of disease can be compared with the expected costs of eradication of trachomatous blindness.