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Dirani M, Keel S, Foreman J, van Wijngaarden P, Taylor HR (2017)

Prevalence of trachomatous trichiasis in Australia: the National Eye Health Survey.

Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology; Accepted Articles( 1-13

Hall N, Barbosa MC, Currie D, Dean AJ, Head B, Hill PS, Naylor S, Reid S, Selvey L, Willis J (2017)

Water, sanitation and hygiene in remote Indigenous Australian communities: a scan of priorities.

Brisbane: Global Change Institute, The University of Queensland

This discussion paper presents an overview of the current status of water, sanitation and hygiene services and challenges in remote Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities across Australia.

The paper aims to emphasise the importance of the challenges requiring attention, as well as propose questions to stimulate discussion around how various stakeholders can respond to these challenges.

Key findings from the paper include:

  • contamination of drinking water remains a risk where monitoring regimes are not rigorous or consistent, and the use of bore water is problematic as it may contain naturally high levels of microbial and chemical contaminants
  • the status of sanitation has improved with increasing installation of centralised wastewater treatment replacing onsite septic tanks, however concerns remain regarding self-certification of wastewater installations in the NT, irregular wastewater output monitoring regimes, incompatible items flushed down toilets and high turnover of wastewater management staff in communities.
  • the status of hygiene and related health issues is an area of serious shortcomings - including issues around overcrowding, lack of knowledge of menstrual hygiene management and trachoma.

This paper was developed in response to Australia's research need around the actions required to ensure that Australia meets the targets of the United Nation's Sustainable Development Goal 6 for 'access to water and sanitation for all'.

Abstract adapted from the University of Queensland

Lange FD, Jones K, Ritte R, Brown HE, Taylor HR (2017)

The impact of health promotion on trachoma knowledge, attitudes and practice (KAP) of staff in three work settings in remote Indigenous communities in the Northern Territory.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases; 11(5): e0005503

Retrieved from

Ninti One Limited (2017)

Evaluation of the National Trachoma Health Promotion Programme.

Melbourne: Indigenous Eye Health

This report describes the research process and results produced by Ninti One Limited to support an evaluation of the National Trachoma Health Promotion Programme (THPP). The project evaluated the work of Indigenous Eye Health (IEH) at the University of Melbourne and its contribution to the goals of the National THPP in six remote Aboriginal communities in central Australia (the border region of South Australia, the Northern Territory and Western Australia). The results identified community knowledge and perceptions of the THPP and will be used to eliminate trachoma and improve and develop future activities and initiatives.

Abstract adapted from Ninti One Limited

Taylor HR (2017)

Chlamydia and Trachoma - will they ever disappear?.

Paper presented at the Chlamydia and Trachoma; will they ever disappear?. 30 August 2017, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health

This conference presentation is split into three parts covering information about chlamydia and trachoma. The presentation covers the following topics:

  • history
  • epidemiology
  • distribution
  • detection
  • grading
  • immunology
  • pathology
  • antibiotics
  • mapping
  • elimination
  • housing and education
  • health promotion.

Abstract adapted from Indigenous Eye Health

Vision 2020 Australia (2017)

Closing the Gap in eye health and vision care by 2020.

Melbourne: Vision 2020 Australia

In 2015, Vision 2020 Australia called on the Australian Government to implement a package of sector-supported initiatives to improve the eye health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. This report acknowledges recent Australian Government investments and initiatives in the eye health and vision care sector and calls on the Government to build on its commitment to close the gap for vision by 2020. The report proposes a series of program and implementation priorities endorsed by the eye health sector and makes recommendations to strengthen existing Australian Government investments and initiatives.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Cowling CS, Liu BC, Snelling TL, Ward JS, Kaldor JM, Wilson DP (2016)

Australian trachoma surveillance annual report, 2013.

Communicable Diseases Intelligence; 40(2): E255-E266

Hendrickx D, Stephen A, Lehmann D, Silva D, Boelaert M, Carapetis J, Walker R (2016)

A systematic review of the evidence that swimming pools improve health and wellbeing in remote Aboriginal communities in Australia.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health; 40(1): 30-36

Taylor H, Stanford E, Lange F (2016)

Why is trachoma blinding Aboriginal children when mainstream Australia eliminated it 100 years ago?.

Retrieved 14 September 2016 from

Lessons to share about planning, implementing and evaluating Community Based Worker programs (2016)

The Fred Hollows Foundation

This series of Lessons Learned sheets provide key findings from a review of Community Based Workers (CBWs) employed in Northern Australia as part of the Trachoma Elimination Program (TEP), conducted by The Fred Hollows Foundation. The information sheets outline practices that work (practice based evidence) for successfully recruiting, employing, training and supporting CBWs in programs and projects that require a strong link between the community and the program to ensure program effectiveness.

The Fred Hollows Foundation supports the employment of over 30 CBWs in more than ten remote communities in the NT. The CBW's role in the TEP is to engage community members in screening and treatment and help create and support community health promotion initiatives.

In 2013, The Foundation commissioned Pandanus Evaluation & Planning Services to undertake a review of the CBW component of the TEP to inform program improvement. The literature on CBWs was assessed and an audit of current practices and experiences of programs employing CBWs in remote communities, primarily in the NT, was also commissioned. The aim was to learn about sound practices so these could be recorded and shared with others to create a set of accessible, useful references for organisations who either currently employ CBWs or plan to in the future. The information sheets are a key result of the review, and are based on the key findings from the review of the international literature and the results of the audit.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that the content in this document may contain images and references to deceased persons.

Fred Hollows Foundation abstract

The Kirby Institute (2016)

2015 Australian trachoma surveillance preliminary report.

Sydney: The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales

This preliminary report of the National Trachoma Surveillance and Reporting Unit (NTSRU) provides information on trachoma screening coverage, trachoma prevalence and clean face prevalence in Australia in 2015. Trachoma prevalence is recorded for children aged 5-9 in at-risk communities.

This report was prepared for the annual meeting of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Alliance for the Global Elimination of Trachoma by 2020 in April 2016.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Warren JM, Birrell AL (2016)

Trachoma in remote Indigenous Australia: a review and public health perspective.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health; 40(S1): S48–S52


Cowling CS, Liu BC, Snelling TL, Ward JS, Kaldor JM, Wilson DP (2015)

National trachoma surveillance annual report, 2012.

Canberra: National Notifiable Diseases Surveillance System

Quinn EK, Massey PD, Speare R (2015)

Communicable diseases in rural and remote Australia: the need for improved understanding and action.

Rural and Remote Health; 15: 3371

Retrieved 21 September 2015 from

Shattock AJ, Gambhir M, Taylor HR, Cowling CS, Kaldor JM, Wilson DP (2015)

Control of trachoma in Australia: a model based evaluation of current interventions.

PLOS Neglected Tropical Diseases; 9(4): e0003474

Retrieved 10 April 2015 from

The Kirby Institute (2015)

Australian trachoma surveillance report 2014.

Sydney: The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales

This annual report provides data on active trachoma in Australia in 2014. Trachoma screening and management data provided by the Northern Territory (NT), South Australia (SA), Western Australia (WA) and New South Wales (NSW) are analysed by region. Results are reported for:

  • trachoma program coverage
  • screening coverage
  • clean face prevalence
  • trachoma prevalence
  • treatment delivery and coverage
  • trichiasis
  • health promotion activities.

Jurisdictions identified 160 remote Aboriginal communities as being at risk or potentially at risk of endemic trachoma. Since 2012, the number of 'at risk' communities has decreased marginally in the NT, and decreased substantially in SA and WA.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract


Atkinson JR, Boudville AI, Stanford EE, Lange FD, Anjou MD (2014)

Australian Football League clinics promoting health, hygiene and trachoma elimination: the Northern Territory experience.

Australian Journal of Primary Health; 20(4): 334-338

Communicable Disease Network Australia (2014)

Trachoma: CDNA national guidelines for the public health management of trachoma.

Canberra: Australian Department of Health

The National guidelines for the public health management of trachoma provides the evidence base and policy framework for coordinated, community-based activities aimed at eliminating blinding trachoma from Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities by 2020. It is written in accordance with Australia's commitment to the World Health Organization (WHO) GET2020 initiative.

The guidelines adapt the WHO SAFE strategy for trachoma elimination to the Australian context and prioritise:

  • regular screening of at risk communities for active trachoma
  • appropriate treatment of individuals and community members
  • promotion of facial hygiene
  • improvement of environmental conditions
  • detection, referral and surgical intervention for people with trichiasis.

Abstract adapted from Communicable Disease Network Australia

Jung J, Rahman S, Rashid H, Khandaker G (2014)

Current status of trachoma elimination in Australia: making trachoma a history by 2020.

Infectious Disorders - Drug Targets; 14(3): 219-222

Lange FD, Baunach E, McKenzie R, Taylor HR (2014)

Trachoma elimination in remote Indigenous Northern Territory communities: baseline health-promotion study.

Australian Journal of Primary Health; 20(1): 34-40

The Kirby Institute (2014)

Australian trachoma surveillance report 2013.

Sydney: The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales


Cowling CS, Liu BC, Ward JS, Snelling TL, Kaldor JM, Wilson DP (2013)

Australian Trachoma Surveillance annual report, 2011.

Communicable Diseases Intelligence; 37(2): E121-E129

Johnson B, Gunn J (2013)

A is for antibiotics: mass drug administration as a strategy to control trachoma in remote Indigenous communities.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 20(4): 23-28

Jones S, Whitehead O, Brian G (2013)

Trachoma in Far North Queensland: an example of poor population health practice.

Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology; 41(6): 607–608

Landers J, Henderson T, Craig JE (2013)

Incidence of visual impairment due to cataract, diabetic retinopathy and trachoma in Indigenous Australians within Central Australia: the Central Australian Ocular Health Study.

Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology; 41(1): 50–55

MacRae A, Thomson N, Anomie, Burns J, Catto M, Gray C, Levitan L, McLoughlin N, Potter C, Ride K, Stumpers S, Trzesinski A, Urquhart B (2013)

Overview of Australian Indigenous health status, 2012.

Perth, WA: Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet

This report provides recent information on:

  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations
  • the context of Indigenous health
  • various measures of population health status
  • selected health conditions
  • health risk and protective factors.

This Overview draws on statistics and other published and unpublished materials to provide up-to-date, detailed information about the health of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples in 2012. It highlights a number of improvements in certain aspects of Indigenous health, but underlines that ongoing work is needed to 'close the gap' in health status between Indigenous and other Australians.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Taylor HR, Anjou MD (2013)

Trachoma in Australia: an update.

Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology; 41(5): 508–512

The Kirby Institute (2013)

Australian trachoma surveillance report 2012.

Sydney: The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales

This report contains trachoma screening and management data for 2012 from the Northern Territory (NT), South Australia (SA), Western Australia (WA) and Queensland (Qld). A total of 195 (96%) of 204 designated at-risk communities were screened for trachoma during 2012, and data were analysed by region.

Children from 0-14 years were assessed for clean faces and active trachoma and adults aged 40 years and older were screened for trichiasis. Health promotion activities were also recorded.

Important findings from this report include:

  • an increase in screening coverage of communities in WA, SA and NT
  • a decrease in the national prevalence of trachoma in the 5-9 year age group, from 7% in 2011 to 4% in 2012
  • no active trachoma was detected in Queensland.

Trachoma surveillance and management has been undertaken since 2006 guided by the Communicable Disease Network of Australia (CDNA) Guidelines for the public management of trachoma in Australia 2006.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Williams P, Oosterhuis C, O'Neill M (2013)

A trichiasis screening program in the Kimberley 2008–2010.

Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health; 37(3): 290


Baunach E, Lines D, Pedwel B, Lange F, Cooney R, Taylor HR (2012)

The development of culturally safe and relevant health promotion resources for effective trachoma elimination in remote Aboriginal communities.

Aboriginal and Islander Health Worker Journal; 36(2): 9-11,16,19

Council of Australian Government (2012)

Project agreement on improving trachoma control services for Indigenous Australians.

Canberra: Standing Council on Federal Financial Relations

The Project agreement on improving trachoma control services for Indigenous Australians will support the delivery of additional trachoma control services and additional activities to improve the mapping, identification, screening, treatment, management and prevention of trachoma and trichiasis for Indigenous Australians.

Individual agreements exist between the Commonwealth of Australia and each of the following states and territories:

  • Western Australia
  • Queensland
  • New South Wales
  • Northern Territory
  • South Australia.

The agreements form part of the broader funding measure on Improving eye and ear health services for Indigenous Australians for better education and employment outcomes.

Australian Indigenous HealthInfoNet abstract

Cowling CS, Popovic G, Liu BC, Ward JS, Snelling TL, Kaldor JM, Wilson DP (2012)

Australian trachoma surveillance annual report, 2010.

Communicable Diseases Intelligence; 36(3): E242–E250

Ejere HOD, Alhassan MB, Rabiu M (2012)

Face washing promotion for preventing active trachoma.

Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews; (4): CD003659

Retrieved 2 September 2011 from

Maher L, Brown AM, Torvaldsen S, Dawson AJ, Patterson JA, Lawrence G (2012)

Eye health services for Aboriginal people in the western region of NSW, 2010.

New South Wales Public Health Bulletin; 23(4): 81-86

Milne C (2012)

Adverse outcomes following the use of azithromycin for trachoma treatment in babies.

Northern Territory Disease Control Bulletin; 19(3): 21-27

Taylor HR, English DR, Field BA, Spicer PE, Graham DM (2012)

Prevalence of trachoma in a single community, 1975–2007.

Clinical & Experimental Ophthalmology; 40(2): 121-126

The Kirby Institute (2012)

Australian trachoma surveillance report 2011.

Sydney: The Kirby Institute, University of New South Wales

Last updated: 13 December 2017
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