Publications & Reports

Evaluation of three years of the SAFE strategy (Surgery, Antibiotics, Facial cleanliness and Environmental improvement) for trachoma control in five districts of Ethiopia hyperendemic for trachoma.

Jeremiah Ngondi, Teshome Gebre, Estifanos B Shargie, Liknaw Adamu, Yeshewamebrat Ejigsemahu, Tesfaye Teferi, Mulat Zerihun, Berhan Ayele, Vicky Cevallos, Jonathan King, Paul M Emerson
The Carter Center, 1 Copenhill Avenue, Atlanta, GA, USA. [email protected]


Trachoma surveys were conducted at baseline in five districts of Amhara National Regional State, Ethiopia (7478 participants in 1096 households) and at 3-year evaluation (5762 participants in 1117 households). Uptake of SAFE was assessed with programme monitoring data and interviews, and children (1-6 years) were swabbed for detection of ocular Chlamydia. At evaluation, 23,933 people had received trichiasis surgery; 93% of participants reported taking azithromycin at least once; 67% of household respondents (range 46-93) reported participation in trachoma health education; and household latrine coverage increased from 2% to 34%. In children aged 1-9 years percentage decline, by district, for outcomes was: 32% (95% CI 19-48) to 88% (95% CI 83-91) for trachomatous inflammation-follicular (TF); 87% (95% CI 83-91) to 99% (95% CI 97-100) for trachomatous inflammation-intense (TI); and 31% increase (95% CI -42 to -19) to 89% decrease (95% CI 85-93) for unclean face; and in adults percentage decline in trichiasis was 45% (95% CI -13 to 78) to 92% (95% CI 78-96). Overall prevalence of swabs positive for ocular Chlamydia was 3.1%. Although there were substantial reductions in outcomes in children and adults, the presence of ocular Chlamydia and TF in children suggests ongoing transmission. Continued implementation of SAFE is warranted.


  • Journal: Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene
  • Published: 01/10/2009
  • Volume: 103
  • Issue: 10
  • Pagination: 1001-1010