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Prevalence, Epidemiological Characteristics and Predictors of Occurrence of Urinary Schistosomiasis among 'Almajiri' School Children in Sokoto, Nigeria
Schistosomiasis is a major public health problem and second only to malaria as the most devastating disease in tropical countries in Africa, East Asia and South America. 'Almajiri' children are known to be exposed to conditions that place them at high risk of infectious diseases including schistosomiasis. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 272 randomly selected children studying at the 'Almajiri' Integrated Model School, Sokoto, Nigeria, to determine the prevalence, epidemiological characteristics and predictors of occurrence of urinary schistosomiasis among them from December 2013 to January 2014. Urine samples were collected from the children and examined for microhaematuria (using reagent strips) and ova of Schistosoma haematobium (microscopically by sedimentation technique), in addition to questionnaire administration (to obtain information on epidemiological characteristics of participants). Mean age of participants was 9.2±2.0 years. About a quarter (25.7%) of participants had urinary schistosomiasis, with the highest prevalence (27.2%) in the 10 to 14 years age group. Swimming in river/pond was found to be the sole predictor of occurrence of urinary schistosomiasis (OR=3.284, p=0.020, 95% CI=1.210 to 8.911). There was a strong agreement between microhematuria and detection of ova of S. haematobium on urine microscopy (Kappa statistics = 0.895, p = 0.0001). These findings suggest the need for school based health education program and provision of potable water, in order to prevent schistosomiasis related exposures, break the chain of infection and reduce disease burden.
Prevalence, Predictors, Urinary Schistosomiasis, ‘Almajiri’ School Children.
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