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Developing strategies to control schistosomiasis morbidity in nonenrolled school-age children: experience from Egypt

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Summary

Schistosomiasis is a major health problem in school-age children in much of the tropical world. They harbour the most intense infections for both Schistosoma mansoni and S. haematobium. In Egypt, the Ministry of Health and Population (MOHP) has implemented a successful school-based treatment programme in which children are screened and those found to be infected treated with praziquantel. High nonenrolment rates in some rural areas have a negative impact on the coverage of this programme and on its ability to reduce transmission in the community. The main aim of our study was to introduce and test a simple intervention to extend treatment to nonenrolled children using the routine MOHP schistosomiasis treatment programme. Twenty villages or ezbas in Tamia district, Fayoum governorate, with 8 schools and 1901 nonenrolled children were targeted. 88.5% of nonenrolled children attended schools to avail themselves of treatment. Coverage rates were significantly higher for girls (< 0.001). These results are important for countries where schistosomiasis is endemic. They suggest that offering interventions in schools may not only improve the health of school attendees but also be an affordable way of extending services to out-of-school children.
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Keywords: Egypt; Schistosomiasis; control; morbidity; school-age children

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Community and Social Medicine, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Giza, Egypt 2: Division of Tropical Medicine, Theodor Bilharz Research Institute, Giza, Egypt 3: Global Programme on Evidence for Health Policy (GPE), World Health Organization, Geneva, Switzerland

Publication date: 1999-08-01

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