Cookies on this website

We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. If you click 'Accept all cookies' we'll assume that you are happy to receive all cookies and you won't see this message again. If you click 'Reject all non-essential cookies' only necessary cookies providing core functionality such as security, network management, and accessibility will be enabled. Click 'Find out more' for information on how to change your cookie settings.

Abstract Background The COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted planned annual antibiotic mass drug administration (MDA) activities that have formed the cornerstone of the largely successful global efforts to eliminate trachoma as a public health problem. Methods Using a mathematical model we investigate the impact of interruption to MDA in trachoma-endemic settings. We evaluate potential measures to mitigate this impact and consider alternative strategies for accelerating progress in those areas where the trachoma elimination targets may not be achievable otherwise. Results We demonstrate that for districts that were hyperendemic at baseline, or where the trachoma elimination thresholds have not already been achieved after three rounds of MDA, the interruption to planned MDA could lead to a delay to reaching elimination targets greater than the duration of interruption. We also show that an additional round of MDA in the year following MDA resumption could effectively mitigate this delay. For districts where the probability of elimination under annual MDA was already very low, we demonstrate that more intensive MDA schedules are needed to achieve agreed targets. Conclusion Through appropriate use of additional MDA, the impact of COVID-19 in terms of delay to reaching trachoma elimination targets can be effectively mitigated. Additionally, more frequent MDA may accelerate progress towards 2030 goals.

Original publication





Transactions of The Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene


Oxford University Press (OUP)

Publication Date





213 - 221