Open Access Open Badges Research article

Active trachoma and associated risk factors among children in Baso Liben District of East Gojjam, Ethiopia

Kassahun Ketema1*, Moges Tiruneh2, Desalegn Woldeyohannes3 and Dagnachew Muluye2

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Public Health Officer, College of Health Sciences, Debre Markos University, Debre Markos, Ethiopia

2 School of Biomedical and Laboratory Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia

3 Department of Public Health, School of Medicine and Health Sciences, Addis Ababa Science and Technology University, Ethiopia

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BMC Public Health 2012, 12:1105  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-12-1105

Published: 22 December 2012



Trachoma is the leading cause of preventable blindness worldwide. It is common in areas where the people are socio-economically deprived. The aim of this study was to assess active trachoma and associated risk factors among children 1–9 years in East Gojjam.


Community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in Baso Liben District from February to April 2012. A two-stage random cluster-sampling technique was employed and all children 1–9 years old from each household were clinically assessed for trachoma based on simplified WHO 1983 classification. Data were collected by using semi-structured interview, pre-tested questionnaire and observation. The data were entered and analyzed using SPSS version 16 statistical package.


From a total of 792 children screened for trachoma (of which 50.6% were girls), the overall prevalence of active trachoma was 24.1% consisting of only 17.2% [95% CI: 14.8, 20.1] TF and 6.8% TI. There were variations among children living in low land (29.3%) and in medium land (21.4%). In multivariate analysis, low monthly income (AOR = adjusted odds ratio) 2.98; 95% CI (confidence interval): 1.85-7.85), illiterate family (AOR = 5.18; 95% CI: 2.92-9.17); unclean face (AOR = 18.68; 95% CI: 1.98-175.55); access to water source (AOR = 2.01; 95% CI: 1.27-3.15); less than 20 liters of water use (AOR = 4.88; 95% CI: 1.51-15.78); not using soap for face washing (AOR = 5.84; 95% CI: 1.98-17.19); not using latrine frequently (AOR = 1.75; 95% CI: 0.01-0.42); density of flies (AOR = 3.77; 95% CI: 2.26-6.29); less knowledgeable family (AOR = 3.91; 95% CI: 2.40-6.38) and average monthly income (AOR = 2.98; 95% CI: 1.85-7.85) were found independently associated with trachoma.


Active trachoma is a major public problem among 1–9 years children and significantly associated with a number of risky factors. Improvement in awareness of facial hygiene, environmental conditions, mass antibiotic distribution and health education on trachoma transmission and prevention should be strengthened in the District.

Active trachoma; Prevalence; Risk factors; Ethiopia