Determinants of active trachoma among children aged 1-9 years in Ol Donyo Nyokie location, Kajiado County, Kenya.

Nasieku L, Mutai J, Muthami L , Karanja S

Nasieku L [1], Mutai J [2], Muthami L [2] Karanja S [1]

  1. Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology, Department of Public Health Nairobi
  2. Centre for Public Health Research (CPHR)

 Corresponding Author: Nasieku Lengala, P.O Box 28265-00100; E-mail:    


Objective: To determine the factors associated with active trachoma among children aged 1-9 years in Ol Donyo Nyokie, Kajiado County.

Methods: This was a descriptive cross-sectional study which utilized both quantitative and qualitative techniques carried out at Ol Donyo Nyokie, Kajiado County. A total of 345mothers together with their children were enrolled. Physical examination on the children’s eyes was done while their respective mothers participated in the questionnaire. Survey supported by observation checklist. Two Focus group discussions were also conducted among mothers and Key Informant interviews among healthcare providers and opinion leaders.

Results: The overall prevalence of active trachoma was found to be 15.7%. Stratified by age and sex, the younger age group (1-5) years had a 2.13-fold risk of getting active trachoma (χ2 (1) =5.93, p< 0.017; AOR=2.13 [95%: CI=1.15-3.96] compared to the older group (6-9) years. There was however no significant difference between males and females (P>0.05). In the final logistic regression model; Face washing frequency (P<0.001), child’s dirty face(P<0.005), water access >30 mins(P<0.006), mother’s level of education(P<0.017), age of child(P<0.021), monthly income(P<0.029), pit latrine ownership(P<0.039), open defecation(P<0.054) and pit latrine usage (P<0.055)were identified as the predictors of active trachoma. In the Focus Group Discussion, about three quarters (74%) of the respondents were aware of trachoma. Majority of the respondents did not own pit latrines and they also disregarded their use. From the Key Informant Interviews most of the respondents confirmed that water, lack of formal education and poverty were the major problems facing the community in the study area.

Conclusion: The prevalence was found to be high, which indicates that active trachoma is still a major public health concern in the study area. Poor socio-economic and environmental conditions exacerbate the suffering of the community and make it difficult to prevent and control trachoma. Enhancement of interventions, therefore, particularly of facial cleanliness and environmental sanitation should be addressed to ensure effective prevention and control of trachoma and to bring down the prevalence levels below the WHO threshold of (>10 % prevalence).Community participation in education and outreach services are also crucial.

Key Words: Active trachoma, children 1-9 years, risk factors, control and prevention, Kenya

[Afr J Health Sci. 2017; 30(2):77-87]

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