Study to determine prevalence of urinary schistomiasis among school going children aged between 7 and 18 years in basic schools of mansa district,luapula province,zambia.
Champo, Chungu Francis.
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The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence of urinary schistosomiasis among school going children in basic schools of Mansa District. The reason to undertake this study emanated from the long working experience of the researcher at Senama Urban Clinic in Mansa District of the Republic of Zambia. There was an increasing number of patients who attended the clinic complaining of urinating blood. Schistosomiasis is a prevalent parasitic infection, with an estimated 200 million people worldwide affected. Zambia is one of the developing countries in the sub Saharan region also affected by schistosomiasis. Table 3;(Page 6) shows an increase of 14.6% magnitude in the prevalence rate of schistosomiasis haematobium in southern province from 1993-2007, while the prevalence rate in Lusaka Province stood at 40% in 2000. The main factors that may influence the prevalence of schistosomiasis in Mansa District include service related factors, disease related and socio-cultural related factors. Low literacy levels, poverty, sub-standard hygiene practices, and inadequate public health infrastructure are some of the factors that have greatly contributed to high prevalence of Bilharzia especially in rural communities coupled with lack of scientific information on the disease among the high risk groups particularly school aged children. Schistosomiasis is a global public health concern which requires the participation of everyone in order to mitigate its effects. Above all it calls for political will and involvement of healthcare I providers and other stake holders to join efforts to try and eliminate the problem. Literature review has shown that, urinary schistosomiasis is a prevalent parasitic infection affecting millions of people worldwide. There is even an increased risk of higher prevalence of the infection due to global warming and increased populations. Most studies have shown that the most affected are the school going children who like playing and wading in contaminated, pools £ of water, however, everybody else is at greater risk of contracting the disease if in contact with infected water. A descriptive cross sectional study design was used for this study, with the help of the structured interview schedule to collect data from the respondents. The study population was the school going children aged between 7 and 18 years of age. A simple random sampling and systematic sampling methods were used to select the study sample. These selected methods were given each element in the population an equal chance of being selected for the sample and thus avoiding bias. The sample size for the study were 50 school going children aged between 7 and 18 years old. The study was undertaken between mid September and October, 2008. Bound copies of research findings and recommendations will be sent to the respective schools and District of study. The study revealed that there was low level knowledge, poor hygiene practices and negative attitudes among the respondents especially in the age group 7-10 years. The identified gaps have necessitated recommendations to the concerned authorities. The research findings will be beneficial to both the community understudy and the Ministry of Health in the formulation of policy, guidelines and health education messages on the prevention of schistosomiasis among school going children in Mansa Distnct and the entire nation at large. Ministries of Health and Education should ensure that Zambia Bllharzia Control Programmes (ZBCP) are undertaken and policies adhered to, so as to reduce the prevalence of Schistosomiasis among school going children. Health education messages should also be administered by all health care providers and stake holders at school and community levels on modes of transmission, good hygiene practices in order to prevent transmission of the disease. The health authorities should, therefore, recognize Bllharzia as one of the priority public health problems and should come up with strategies such as preventive health messages to school going children if the disease is to be prevented. Hence, there is a greater need to conduct more research on the prevalence of schistosomiasis in Zambia