Trachoma control in two Central Australian Aboriginal communities: a case study

Int Ophthalmol. 2010 Aug;30(4):367-75. doi: 10.1007/s10792-010-9360-5. Epub 2010 Apr 1.


This prospective case study assessed the additional impact of environmental changes (E) within the SAFE strategy in controlling trachoma in two Aboriginal communities (populations 315 and 385) in Central Australia. Baseline levels for trachoma, facial cleanliness, and nasal discharge were measured in children <15 years old. Health and facial cleanliness promotion were initiated in each community and housing and environmental improvements were made in one community. Azithromycin was distributed to all members of each community (coverage 55-73%). Assessments of trachoma and facial cleanliness were made at 3, 6, and 12 months post-intervention. Baseline trachoma rates were similar for the two communities (48 and 50%). Rates were significantly lower at 3, 6, and 12 months compared to baseline, but there was no significant difference between the two communities. The A/F components of the SAFE strategy significantly reduced the prevalence of trachoma; however, while the E intervention did not bring any apparent benefits, several factors might have masked them.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / therapeutic use
  • Australia / epidemiology
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Environmental Restoration and Remediation
  • Face
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hygiene
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander*
  • Prevalence
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rhinitis / complications
  • Trachoma / complications
  • Trachoma / epidemiology
  • Trachoma / prevention & control*


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents