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Global mapping of trachoma

Global Trachoma Mapping Project (2012-2016) was the largest infectious disease survey ever undertaken.

In July 2012, Sightsavers, the International Trachoma Initiative (ITI) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, acting on behalf of the International Coalition for Trachoma Control, secured the £10.6M Global Trachoma Mapping Project (GTMP) grant from the United Kingdom’s Department for International Development.

The GTMP was completed in January 2016. It was the largest infectious disease survey ever undertaken, helping to accurately pinpoint the world’s trachoma endemic areas. The sample of 2.6 million people examined during the project represent a global population of 224 million in endemic areas.

A range of partnerships and procedures were needed to carry out the mapping for the GMTP:

  • Epidemiologists and ministries of health to construct bespoke sampling frameworks
  • Field teams included a grader, recorder, driver and local guide
  • Community heads, household heads and individuals provided consent
  • Ethical considerations and supervision for teams were built into the process
  • All households surveyed had their location data collected using GPS (Global Positioning System)
  • All demographic, clinical and WASH (water, sanitation and hygiene) data were captured into a purpose-built mobile app
  • Arabic, English, French, Portuguese and Spanish language packs were provided for teams in each geographical area
  • Data were uploaded into a secure cloud-based server. To ensure consistency, objectivity and transparency, all the data were cleaned, analysed by a dedicated data manager, who logged any changes

As you watch this video, consider what the advantages were in taking a global approach to mapping trachoma?

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