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Open Access Research article

Schistosomiasis infection among primary school students in a war zone, Southern Kordofan State, Sudan: a cross-sectional study

Alaa H Abou-Zeid1*, Tigani A Abkar2 and Rashid O Mohamed2

Author Affiliations

1 Public Health Department, Faculty of Medicine, Cairo University, Kasr Al Ainy St., Cairo, Egypt

2 State Ministry of Health, Kadugli, South Kordofan, Sudan

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BMC Public Health 2013, 13:643  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-13-643

Published: 11 July 2013

Abstract

Background

Schistosomiasis is a major health problem adversely affecting the health of vulnerable populations in Sudan.

Methods

We conducted a school-based survey to estimate the prevalence of schistosomiasis in 36 villages in Southern Kordofan (SK) State. A total of 2,302 primary school students were recruited. Each student completed a questionnaire and submitted one urine and one stool sample.

Results

The prevalence of schistosomiasis haematobium was 23.7%, while schistosomiasis mansoni was not detected among the study participants. S. haematobium infection was identified in all areas, with the highest prevalence in the western locality of SK State. The infection was associated with the distance between home/school and open water sources. In addition, S. haematobium infection was associated with the existence of and distance to open water sources, higher frequency of contact with open water, absence of a health advocacy group in the school and history of schistosomiasis treatment.

Conclusions

This study highlights schistosomiasis as a public health problem in SK State. The findings will guide the schistosomiasis Control Program of the State Ministry of Health in developing and applying treatment plans for schistosomiasis in SK State.

Keywords:
Prevalence; Schistosomiasis; School; Southern Kordofan; Sudan; Survey