IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this article

Relationship between distance to social gathering facilities and risk of trachoma for households in rural Tanzanian communities


  • Montgomery, Maggie A.
  • Desai, Mayur M.
  • Groce, Nora E.
  • Elimelech, Menachem


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.

Suggested Citation

  • Montgomery, Maggie A. & Desai, Mayur M. & Groce, Nora E. & Elimelech, Menachem, 2011. "Relationship between distance to social gathering facilities and risk of trachoma for households in rural Tanzanian communities," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 73(1), pages 1-5, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:1:p:1-5

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: Full text for ScienceDirect subscribers only

    As the access to this document is restricted, you may want to search for a different version of it.

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Goldman, Noreen & Pebley, Anne R. & Beckett, Megan, 2001. "Diffusion of ideas about personal hygiene and contamination in poor countries: evidence from Guatemala," Social Science & Medicine, Elsevier, vol. 52(1), pages 53-69, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:eee:socmed:v:73:y:2011:i:1:p:1-5. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Dana Niculescu). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.