The study was done to assess national approaches to trichiasis surgical follow-up, outcome assessment and audit, and identify national targets for good surgical outcome.
A cross-sectional survey was carried out involving all 29 known-trachoma-endemic countries in Africa. An emailed questionnaire was used to collect information on national targets for surgical outcomes, policies, monitoring and strategies to address underperformance by surgeons.
2 of the 29 had not yet implemented trichiasis surgery as part of their trachoma elimination programme. Findings from 27 countries are therefore reported. Only four countries reported having a national policy for trichiasis surgery follow-up and outcome assessment and only two had a national policy for conducting audits of trichiasis surgeons. Only 9 of the 27 countries had a cut-off point at which poorly performing surgeons would be instructed to discontinue surgery until retraining or other interventions had been undertaken.
The study was done to address the challenge of post-operative trichiasis and other poor outcomes, national trachoma programmes should create and implement policies and systems to follow up patients, assess surgical outcomes and monitor the performance of individual surgeons through post-surgical audits.