Extent of morbidity associated with schistosomiasis infection in Malawi: A review paper

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Data on the extent of the burden due to schistosomiasis is sparse in most Sub-Saharan African countries. However, this data is crucial for triggering medical attention. A review of extent of morbidity and determinants associated with schistosomiasis in Malawi was therefore conducted to quantify the infection in order to concretise the need for medical intervention. A systematic and traditional search strategy was used to find literature for the review, whilst exclusion and inclusion criteria were used to identify appropriate articles. Logistic regression curves of epidemiological model Y = (a + bx (c) )/(1 + bx (c) ) and the recommendation that schistosomiasis prevalence can be used to estimate morbidity were employed to quantify morbidity at various infection stages. Morbidity was quantified as a direct proportion of the population and the respective national schistosomiasis prevalence. Findings showed that both S. mansoni and S. haematobium are present in Malawi with the latter highly prevalent (50%). Furthermore, out of the estimated population of 16,829 million, approximately 8.4 million have schistosomiasis, with about 4.4 million of these aged 18 years and below. The most frequent manifestation is Katayama syndrome, while ascites is the lowest, impacting about 3.0 million and 960 individuals, respectively. Localised studies on association of schistosomiasis infection to risk factors such as occupation, age and gender found odds ratio (OR) ranging from 1.29 to 5.37. Morbidity due to schistosomiasis is high in Malawi. It is therefore recommended that a more detailed study on the determinants of high schistosomiasis and re-evaluation of the current control measures be conducted if the current morbidity statistics are to be remarkably reduced.




Mtethiwa, A. H. N., Nkwengulila, G., Bakuza, J., Sikawa, D., & Kazembe, A. (2015, May 4). Extent of morbidity associated with schistosomiasis infection in Malawi: A review paper. Infectious Diseases of Poverty. BioMed Central Ltd. https://doi.org/10.1186/s40249-015-0053-1

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