World Health Organisation Country Office

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

World Health Organisation Country Office

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
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Macleod C.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Yalen C.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Butcher R.,London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine | Mudaliar U.,Lautoka Hospital | And 15 more authors.
PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases | Year: 2017

Background: The WHO definition of trachomatous trichiasis (TT) is “at least one eyelash touching the globe, or evidence of recent epilation of in-turned eyelashes”, reflecting the fact that epilation is used as a self-management tool for TT. In Fiji’s Western Division, a high TT prevalence (8.7% in those aged ≥15 years) was reported in a 2012 survey, yet a 2013 survey found no TT and Fijian ophthalmologists rarely see TT cases. Local anecdote suggests that eyelash epilation is a common behaviour, even in the absence of trichiasis. Epilators may have been identified as TT cases in previous surveys. Methods: We used a preliminary focus group to design an interview questionnaire, and subsequently conducted a population-based prevalence survey to estimate the prevalence of epilation in the absence of trichiasis, and factors associated with this behaviour, in the Western Division of Fiji. Results: We sampled 695 individuals aged ≥15 years from a total of 457 households in 23 villages. 125 participants (18%) reported epilating their eyelashes at least once within the past year. Photographs were obtained of the eyes of 121/125 (97%) individuals who epilated, and subsequent analysis by an experienced trachoma grader found no cases of trachomatous conjunctival scarring or trichiasis. The age- and sex- adjusted prevalence of epilation in those aged ≥15 years was 8.6% (95% CI 5.7–11.3%). iTaukei ethnicity, female gender, and a higher frequency of drinking kava root were independently associated with epilation. Conclusion: Epilation occurs in this population in the absence of trichiasis, with sufficient frequency to have markedly inflated previous estimates of local TT prevalence. Individuals with epilated eyelashes should be confirmed as having epilated in-turned eyelashes in an eye with scarring of the conjunctiva before being counted as cases of TT. © 2017 Macleod et al.


Wamala J.F.,Ministry of Health | Okot C.,World Health Organisation Country Office | Makumbi I.,Ministry of Health | Natseri N.,World Health Organisation Country Office | And 10 more authors.
BMC Public Health | Year: 2010

Background: Uganda is currently implementing the International Health Regulations (IHR[2005]) within the context of Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR). The IHR(2005) require countries to assess the ability of their national structures, capacities, and resources to meet the minimum requirements for surveillance and response. This report describes the results of the assessment undertaken in Uganda. Methods. We conducted a descriptive cross-sectional assessment using the protocol developed by the World Health Organisation (WHO). The data collection tools were adapted locally and administered to a convenience sample of HR(2005) stakeholders, and frequency analyses were performed. Results. Ugandan national laws relevant to the IHR(2005) existed, but they did not adequately support the full implementation of the IHR(2005). Correspondingly, there was a designated IHR National Focal Point (NFP), but surveillance activities and operational communications were limited to the health sector. All the districts (13/13) had designated disease surveillance offices, most had IDSR technical guidelines (92%, or 12/13), and all (13/13) had case definitions for infectious and zoonotic diseases surveillance. Surveillance guidelines were available at 57% (35/61) of the health facilities, while case definitions were available at 66% (40/61) of the health facilities. The priority diseases list, surveillance guidelines, case definitions and reporting tools were based on the IDSR strategy and hence lacked information on the IHR(2005). The rapid response teams at national and district levels lacked food safety, chemical and radio-nuclear experts. Similarly, there were no guidelines on the outbreak response to food, chemical and radio-nuclear hazards. Comprehensive preparedness plans incorporating IHR(2005) were lacking at national and district levels. A national laboratory policy existed and the strategic plan was being drafted. However, there were critical gaps hampering the efficient functioning of the national laboratory network. Finally, the points of entry for IHR(2005) implementation had not been designated. Conclusions. The assessment highlighted critical gaps to guide the IHR(2005) planning process. The IHR(2005) action plan should therefore be developed to foster national and international public health security. © 2010 Wamala et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.


Nsubuga P.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Brown W.G.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Groseclose S.L.,Centers for Disease Control and Prevention | Ahadzie L.,National Surveillance Unit | And 9 more authors.
Global Public Health | Year: 2010

The Integrated Disease Surveillance and Response (IDSR) strategy was developed by the Africa Regional Office (AFRO) of the World Health Organisation (WHO) and proposed for adoption by member states in 1998. The goal was to build WHO/AFRO countries' capacity to detect, report and effectively respond to priority infectious diseases. This evaluation focuses on the outcomes in four countries that implemented this strategy. Major successes included: integration of the surveillance function of most of the categorical disease control programmes; implementation of standard surveillance, laboratory and response guidelines; improved timeliness and completeness of surveillance data and increased national-level review and use of surveillance data for response. The most challenging aspects were: strengthening laboratory networks; providing regular feedback and supervision on surveillance and response activities; routine monitoring of IDSR activities and extending the strategy to sub-national levels. © 2010 Taylor & Francis.

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