Trachoma and Some Other Eye Diseases in a Libyan Village

Ben-Amer, Mansour I (1983) Trachoma and Some Other Eye Diseases in a Libyan Village. MD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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The population of a Libyan desert village (oasis) was examined for trachoma and other eye diseases in 1976 and in 1980 to assess the problem, study the pattern and assess the influence of socio-economic factors on the prevalence and intensity of the disease and its visually disabling lesions. Also to study the problem of blindness and its magnitude in such a community. A bacteriological study of the population was also undertaken for the first time in this country. Every member of this desert village (1000 people) was examined by the author and the visual acuity recorded. Each was assessed for trachoma and other eye conditions and a conjunctival smear from the upper palpebral conjunctiva was taken for Giemsa staining. Every school child with active trachoma had a bacteriological swab taken from the conjunctivae to see if there is any association between trachoma and bacterial infections in this community. Those who did not have good vision were examined in detail to assess the cause of the poor vision. Ocular examination of the whole population was repeated in 1980 and compared with the findings of 1976 and the improved situation in 1980 were both noted. It was found that Giemsa staining methods have possibly little value in areas of moderate to mild intensity of trachoma such as Marada. Newer methods will need to be assessed for field studies in such situations e. g. the "Rapid serological test". Socio-economics and environmental factors especially housing and water supply are important factors in trachoma control. Face washing is possibly the most important method of trachoma control and relies on health education for its success. It can also be applied to poor countries where trachoma control is required. The incidence of blindness was totally different from census figures stressing the importance of either full surveys or randomised samples as the methods of choice for the recording of blindness. Cataracts and glaucoma are very important causes of blindness in trachoma endemic areas. Some interesting points are raised and need to be looked at in detail in future studies in such areas (a) Do some of the cicatrical scars disappear in time in areas where the disease is mild? (b) What is the strong association between pterygium and trachoma? (c) and most important what is the best method for the early detection of preventable blindness caused by chronic simple glaucoma in such a community.

Item Type: Thesis (MD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Ophthalmology, Medicine
Date of Award: 1983
Depositing User: Enlighten Team
Unique ID: glathesis:1983-76592
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2019 14:05
Last Modified: 19 Nov 2019 14:05

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