WATER CONTACT ACTIVITIES IN RELATION TO THE PREVALENCE LEVEL OF URINARY SCHISTOSOMIASIS AMONG SCHOOL AGE CHILDREN IN SOME PARTS OF IMO STATE, NIGERIA
*Nwachukwu I. O., Nwoke B. E. B., Ukaga C. N., Ajero C. M. U. and Nwachukwu M. I.
A study was conducted to determine the water contact activities in relation to the prevalence level of Urinary Schistosomiasis among 2250 pupils from 45 Schools in some parts of Imo State, Nigeria. Structured questionnaire was used to elicit information on water contact activities such as swimming, fishing, washing, playing/bathing, collection of snail, fetching water and rice farming among the pupils. Out of the 2250 pupils, 602 (26.8%) were not involved in any of the water contact activities while 1648 (73.2%) were involved in one contact activity or the other with total Urinary Schistosomiasis infection level of 132(5.9%). Of all activities, those for swimming, playing/bathing and collection of snail had the highest and lowest Urinary Schistosomiasis infection of 33(12.5%), 38(12.5) and 4(3.4%) respectively. Result further revealed that School Children in Okigwe had the highest infection of 32(12.8%) while those from Ikeduru and Nwangele had least infection of 2(0.89%). Result also showed that there was a sex-related dependent among School Children with water contact activity with male having more infection of 75(8.3%) from most of the different sources examined while female had 57(7.6%). There was a significant age-related prevalence of S. haematobium among school children exposed to different possible focus of infection with children between 7-9years, 10-12years and 13-15years having total S. haematobium infection levels of 18(5.2%), 73(9.6%) and 41(7.4%), respectively. In view of the above results, it is therefore recommended that streams be treated with molluscicide to reduce the snail population, providing safe water supplies in villages to reduce as much as possible contact with infected water, providing sanitation facilitates and recreational facilities to be provided in schools to dissuade children from going to play in infected streams. Finally, health awareness should be intensified to create awareness on the mode of transmission of the parasite.[Full Text Article]