|Type||Journal Article - Tanzania Journal of Health Research|
|Title||Prevalence and intensity of Schistosoma mansoni and hookworm infections among pre-school and school-aged children in Ilemela District, north-western Tanzania|
Introduction: World Health Organization have recently recommended the inclusion of pre-school children
in the Mass Drug Administration (MDA) against schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths in endemic
areas. This study was conducted to determine the prevalence and intensity of Schistosoma mansoni and
hookworm infections among pre- and school going children in Ilemela District, north-western Tanzania.
Methods: This cross-sectional study included pre- and school going children aged 4-14 years. A single stool
sample was collected from each child and processed using Kato Katz thick smears and examined
microscopically for presence of S. mansoni and hookworm eggs. A questionnaire was used to collect
demographic information of the study participants.
Results: Overall, prevalence of S. mansoni was 80.0%; with pre-school children aged 4-6 years having the
point prevalence of 60.6%. The overall prevalence of hookworm infection was 18.7%; with age group 4-6
years having the prevalence of 14.1%. The intensity of hookworm infection was light in all age groups. The
intensity of infection of S. mansoni increased with age. Using lake water for domestic purposes (OR=3.09,
95% CI: 1.93-4.95, p<0.001), for bathing (OR=2.65, 95% CI: 1.66-4.23, p<0.0001), and for washing purposes
(OR=3.08, 95% CI: 1.90-4.97, p<0.0001) remained independently associated with S. mansoni infection.
Children who reported to swim in the lake and involved in paddy farming had 1.84 and 1.95 times odds of
being infected than those who did not, respectively.
Conclusion: These findings indicate that S. mansoni and hookworm infections are common among preschool
children as well as in school going children. These findings call for the need to urgently include the
pre-school age children in the MDA programme.
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