oa Southern African Journal of Epidemiology and Infection - The influence of health education on the prevalence, intensity and morbidity of Schistosoma haematobium infections in children over a two-year period in the Limpopo Province, South Africa : original research
The influence of health education on the prevalence and intensity of Schistosoma haematobium infections, as well as on the related morbidity, was studied in schoolchildren between the ages of 4 and 14. Three groups of children were selected for this investigation. The 67 children in the experimental group received chemotherapy before health education was implemented, as well as when they got re-infected during the study. Health education was presented in mother tongue by means of a puppet show. The 99 children in one of the control groups received treatment only after the study while the 80 children in the remaining control group were treated as those in the experimental group, except that no intervention by means of education was applied. Health education, parasitological screens and snail surveys were done during the rainy, cold-dry and hot-dry seasons between 2004 and 2006. The prevalence and intensity of infection, as well as the morbidity (degree of haematuria) due to the infections, were determined after the urine samples, collected from each child, were screened. Significant differences (p<0.05) were found between the initial prevalence of infection (100%) and all the values recorded from survey 2 to survey 7. With regard to the intensity of infection, significant differences were found in all cases between the experimental and the treated control groups except in the heavy category (p=0.84). Statistical comparisons between the mean percentages calculated for corresponding categories of haematuria between the different groups revealed significant differences in all cases except between the experimental and treated control groups in the heavy category (3+) of haematuria.
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