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.
Trachoma Children Prevalence SAFE intervention Australia Aboriginal
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We would like to thank the Christian Blind Mission International Australia, the Nganampa Health Council, its workers and supervisors, Health Habitat, and the Anangu Pitjantjatjara people for their support in this study.
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