PREVALENCE OF SCHISTOSOMIASIS AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN DAKACE DISTRICT, ZARIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

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PREVALENCE OF SCHISTOSOMIASIS AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN DAKACE DISTRICT, ZARIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

 

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 INTRODUCTION

1.1 Background of the Study

Schistosomes are important human and animal parasites throughout Africa, Asia and South America, predominantly in rural areas that support agriculture and inland fisheries. The distribution of Schistosomes are linked to that of their snail intermediate hosts (Bulinus and Biomphlaria spp.), which differ in their habitat preferences for slow-flowing or still waters (CDC, 2011). The impact of schistosomiasis has long been underestimated (Bergquist, 2002). It ranks second only to malaria as the most common parasitic disease, killing an estimated 280,000 people each year in the African region alone (CDC, 2011). The prevalence of schistosomiasis, like most parasitic disease is related to poverty and poor living conditions (Engels et al., 2002).

Despite intensive efforts to control the disease, it has been found to affect nearly 240 million people worldwide each year and more than 700 million people live in endemic areas (WHO, 2010). Nonetheless, 85% of the cases reported annually occur in sub-Saharan Africa and over 150,000 deaths are associated with chronic infection caused by S. haematobium in the African region (Hotez and Kamath, 2009; WHO, 2010). Schitosomiasis with soil-transmitted helminthiasis continue to represent more than 40% of the disease burden caused by all tropical diseases, excluding malaria (Hotez and Kamath, 2009). The disease is common in the Niger basin and is found in every country within the West African sub-region (Brown and Wright, 1985; Hegertun et al., 2013).

In Nigeria, one of the most severely affected countries in Africa, it is estimated that 101.28 million people are at risk of infection while 25.83 million are infected with Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma intercalatum (Chitsulo et al., 2000). The risk and reemergence of urinary schistosomiasis is attributed to the range of snail habitats promoted by water development schemes such as dam construction (WHO, 2010). Furthermore, school age children who have frequent water contact are more vulnerable to schistosomiasis, and hence this age group that are often associated more frequently with schistosomiasis problems (Deribe et al., 2011; Bala et al., 2012).

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PREVALENCE OF SCHISTOSOMIASIS AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN DAKACE DISTRICT, ZARIA LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA, KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA