Childhood Activities and Schistosomiasis Infection in the Kassena-Nankana District of Northern Ghana

  • Victor Asoala F
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Abstract

Schistosomiasis is a common cause of morbidity especially among rural children in less developed countries. The extent and distribution of schistosomiasis infection among school-age children was assessed and the association between some childhood activities and prevalence of infection was determined in northern Ghana. A cross-sectional study was conducted during which stool and urine samples were collected from children 6-15 years. Samples were analysed using the Kato-Katz technique and the 10 ml urine filtration methods respectively. Data on water contact activities were also collected. The level of infection was compared in relation to location and water contact activities. A total of 1,764 children participated in the study. Prevalence of Schistosoma haematobium infection was 18.9%. The highest level of infection (33.1%) was found among children resident in the southern part of the district, the lowest among those in the eastern (3.6%) and northern (3.8%) parts. S. mansoni infection was 10.9%. The highest level of S. mansoni infection (54.2%) was found among children resident in the central part of the district. The overall prevalence of infection (S. haematobium+S. mansoni) was moderate (27.1%). More males (32.5%) than females (20.2%) were infected (χ2=32.8, P<0.0001). Children aged 9-12 years had the highest prevalence of infection (31.8%; 95% CI: 28.4- 35.5) with the lowest among those aged 6-8 years (23.9%; 95% CI: 20.2-28.0). Swimming in the canals (χ2=404.4, P<0.0001) and working on tomato farms (χ2=37.7, P<0.0001) were risk factors for infection. Herding cattle appeared to have protected the children from infection (χ2=34.8, P=0.0001). Schistosomiasis is prevalent throughout the district with children resident in the central and southern parts of the district being more at risk of infection. There is the need to put in place an integrated and effective schistosomiasis control programme.

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APA

Victor Asoala, F. A. (2014). Childhood Activities and Schistosomiasis Infection in the Kassena-Nankana District of Northern Ghana. Journal of Infectious Diseases and Therapy, 02(04). https://doi.org/10.4172/2332-0877.1000152

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