Mapping Trachoma in the Solomon Islands: Results of Three Baseline Population-Based Prevalence Surveys Conducted with the Global Trachoma Mapping Project

Ophthalmic Epidemiol. 2016;23(sup1):15-21. doi: 10.1080/09286586.2016.1238946. Epub 2016 Dec 12.


Purpose: We sought to complete the baseline trachoma map of the Solomon Islands by establishing prevalences of active trachoma and trichiasis in the provinces of Choiseul, Western, Rennell-Bellona, and Temotu.

Methods: Using the standardized methodology developed for the Global Trachoma Mapping Project, we conducted cross-sectional community-based surveys from September to November 2013. Choiseul and Western provinces were each mapped as separate evaluation units (EUs); Rennell-Bellona and Temotu were combined to form a third EU.

Results: A total of 9819 individuals were sampled for inclusion, with 9224 (93.3%) consenting to examination, of whom 4587 (46.3%) were female. Survey teams visited 82 villages, and surveyed 2448 households. Two EUs had prevalences of trachomatous inflammation - follicular (TF) in 1-9-year-olds over the 10% threshold at which WHO recommends mass distribution of azithromycin for at least 3 years (Western 20.4%, 95% confidence interval, CI 15.6-26.3%; Rennell-Bellona/Temotu 22.0%, 95% CI 18.5-26.0%). Choiseul had a TF prevalence of 6.1% (95% CI 4.1-8.6%), and met the criterion for a single round of mass antibiotic distribution before re-survey. The adjusted prevalences of trichiasis in those aged 15+ years were 0.0% (95% CI 0.0-0.2%) in Choiseul, 0.16% (95% CI 0.0-0.5%) in Western, and 0.10% (95% CI 0-0.3%) in Rennell-Bellona/Temotu provinces. All three EUs require implementation of the facial cleanliness and environmental improvement components of the trachoma elimination strategy.

Conclusion: Active trachoma is prevalent in the Solomon Islands. However, there is little evidence of the blinding complications of trachoma being a public health problem there. Further research into the explanation for this phenomenon is warranted.

Keywords: Chlamydia trachomatis; Pacific; Solomon Islands; prevalence; survey; trachoma.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Female
  • Health Surveys
  • Humans
  • Hygiene / standards
  • Infant
  • Male
  • Melanesia / epidemiology
  • Middle Aged
  • Prevalence
  • Sanitation / standards
  • Trachoma / epidemiology*
  • Trachoma / prevention & control
  • Trichiasis / epidemiology*
  • Water Supply / standards
  • Young Adult