|Type||Journal Article - Journal of Tropical Diseases|
|Title||Prevalence and Intensity of Schistosomiasis in Communities around Water Reservoirs in Malawi|
Although schistosomiasis is endemic in Malawi, its epidemiology at water reservoir communities is not known.
However, there are more than 750 water reservoirs spread throughout the country, providing water for various activities.
The present study was conducted to determine schistosomiasis infection at reservoir communities in Malawi.
Methods: This was across sectional study conducted during the rainy and dry seasons at three water reservoir
communities. A total of 1594 individuals aged from 1 to 78 years from 1-2km, >2-5km and 5km away from the reservoir
were randomly selected and enrolled into the study. They provided stool and urine samples which were examined for
Schistosoma eggs using Kato-Katz and sedimentation methods, respectively.
Results: An overall prevalence of 47.4% was found with 51.2% for S. haematobium and 9.5% for S. mansoni.
Prevalence was significantly higher during the dry season (58.5%) than the rainy season (36.6%) (P=0.01). Prevalence
was significantly higher in communities living 0-2km away from the reservoir than in those living > 5km away (P=0.00).
Prevalence of S. haematobium was significantly different higher at Mlala reservoir than at Ukonde and Njala reservoirs
(P=0.043). Prevalence of S. Mansoni was significantly higher at Ukonde reservoir than at Mlala and Njala reservoirs
(P=0.037). Prevalence among different age groups was not significantly different (P=0.29). Age group of 6-15 years
had significantly higher infection intensity, in both S. mansoni (129±3.6 epg) and S. haematobium (63.3±2.3 eggs/10ml
of urine), than the other age groups.
Conclusion: Water reservoirs are infested with Schistosoma cercariae and the communities are at risk. The closer
to the reservoir, the higher the chances of being infected. We recommend annual MDA, since the prevalence found is
within the =50% WHO recommended threshold for MDA. We also recommend a health education to the communities
on transmission and prevention of schistosomiasis.
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