Relationship between distance to social gathering facilities and risk of trachoma for households in rural Tanzanian communities
Few studies have examined the physical isolation of households with trachoma cases. Thus, in this study, we sought to examine the association between household isolation, as measured by distance to social gathering facilities, and risk of trachoma. We hypothesized that households located closer to such facilities would have a decreased risk of trachoma, due to a variety of social, economic, and cultural reasons. To test this hypothesis we conducted a case-control study of 668 households (93 cases, 575 controls) in eight villages in Kongwa District, Tanzania, in 2007. Case households were defined as having a child aged 1-5 years with clinical signs of trachoma. Distance of household's place of residence to three main social gathering facilities -- bars/cafés, religious establishments, and commercial/government center -- was measured with a portable geographic positioning system. Multiple logistic regression analyses, which controlled for potential confounders and accounted for clustering, demonstrated increased risk of trachoma with increasing distance to social gathering facilities. Compared with distances of 1400Â m from bars/cafés and from religious establishments, suggesting increased risk of trachoma for households at the fringes of communities. Targeting these isolated households with special programming along with dissemination through trusted social gathering facilities may improve effectiveness of current prevention efforts.
Volume (Year): 73 (2011)
Issue (Month): 1 (July)
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