Prevalence of schistosomiasis in Mbala district, Northern province, Zambia.
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ABSTRACT Schistosomiasis is a tropical disease caused by blood flukes of the genus Schistosome. According to data reviewed, Mbala District has been experiencing a number of people suffering from Bilharzia from 1999 to 2004(150-214). The important aspects of Bilharzia pathology are the complications of the disease such as cancer of the bladder and anaemia .Infected children become weaker and the school performance is reduced. It was against this background that the study was aimed at identifying the reasons why there is a high prevalence of bilharzias among school going children in Mbala. It was hoped that the findings of the study would be used in the formulation of policies and strategies to reduce Schistosomiasis prevalence. A non experimental, cross sectional, descriptive study was used. A simple random sampling method was used and a sample of 50 respondents was selected. Respondents were selected from 4 rural Basic Schools namely, Chianga, Ndundundu, Uningi, and St. Pauls. Data was collected using a structured interview schedule in the month September 2005.Analysis of data was manually and findings were presented in frequency tables and cross tables. The specific objectives were to asses knowledge levels on Schistosomiasis, identify recreational and occupational practices, and asses the level of compliance to Schistosomiasis treatment among school going children. The study reviewed that the level of knowledge on Schistosomiasis increased with increasing level of education. It was also found that most of the respondents (50%) had low knowledge levels on Schistosomiasis. This was attributed to the fact that pupils in lower primary grades (1-4) did not learn about Bilharzia in class. The study further reviewed that (94%) of' the respondent's recreational and occupational Practices were poor. This was attributed to poor socio-economic conditions of most people in Mbala .The study also reviewed that, all the respondents (100%) who passed blood in urine had poor compliance to treatment. This was attributed to the fact that bilharzia presents with light infection and less serious manifestations. This therefore implies that there is need for authorities to recognize Bilharzia as one of the priority problems of public health and devise strategies such as mass health education on bilharzia. The other recommendation is that there is need for further research on the aspects of snail species to determine the contact sites and come up with an approach to control snail population.
- Medicine