Beliefs About Eye Diseases and Trachoma in an Egyptian Delta Hamlet

B. I. Mikhail, A. Reizian, Sandra D Lane, P. Courtright

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The aim of this study was to determine the villagers health beliefs about eye diseases in general and trachoma in an Egyptian delta hamlet. These were beliefs about causes of eye diseases, whether or not eye diseases are considered a problem for them, for the family or for the village, their seriousness and consequences, susceptibility to them, communicability and preventive nature of eye diseases and trachoma. Also the cause and prevention of blindness were determined. One third of the households in the hamlet was randomly chosen then two adult members were randomly selected from each household. The total sample consisted of 79 subjects who were interviewed in their homes. The results indicated that only 21.5% of the sample were aware of trachoma though other subjects recognized some manifestations or sequelae of trachoma as separate eye troubles. Slightly over half of the subjects believed eye diseases to be a problem for them personally, for their family, and for the village. The causes of eye diseases and trachoma most frequently mentioned were hot weather, dirty wash water, dust and dirts, sweat dropping in eyes and oven smoke. Most of the subjects believed in their own susceptibility to and seriousness of eye diseases and trachoma. However, the serious consequences of such diseases were not well understood by the subjects. The results also revealed that about half of the sample believed that eye diseases are communicable and preventable. The modes of transmission were believed to be mainly sharing wash water, towel, soap, eye ointment tube, sharing bed, and shaking hands with a sick person. The methods of prevention mentioned were mainly personal cleanliness, early treatment of diseases, avoidance of smoke, flame, strong sunshine and sweat. Only 17.8% mentioned environmental sanitation as a method of prevention. The common cause of blindness stated was God followed by untreated eye diseases. That blindness is preventable was believed by only 34.2% of the sample.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)915-931
JournalBulletin of the High Institute of Public Health (Egypt)
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1989


Dive into the research topics of 'Beliefs About Eye Diseases and Trachoma in an Egyptian Delta Hamlet'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this