The effects of socio-economic status on prevalence and intensity of schistosomiasis infection in walukuba division, jinja district, uganda.
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BACKGROUND: Schistosomiasis contributes to the top ten causes of morbidity in jinja district. Despite the district’s interventions, new cases continue to emerge. OBJECTIVE: To investigate the association between the socio-economic status and the prevalence and intensity of schistosomiasis infection in jinja district so as to recommend appropriate strategies aimed at effective control of the disease. METHODOLOGY: A cross sectional cluster survey involving 463 households was carried out to measure the prevalence ans intensity of S. Mansoni infection among 463 individuals aged 10-20 years and to estimate the socio economic status of the households to which they belonged. RESULTS: A total of 301 (65%) individuals with a mean age of 13.5 years (S.D 3.15) were infected with S. mansoni. The risk of infection decreased with increasing wealth index of the household head (x2 for linear trend= 141.12, (df)= 1,p<0.001). The intensity of S. mansoni infection among individuals that belonged to a poor socioeconomic status was 213.3 epgs of stool compared to 114.0 epgs of stool among those that belonged to a good socioeconomic class. CONCLUSION: Belonging to a poor socio-economic status is associated with a higher prevalence and intensity of S. Mansoni infection. RECOMMENDATION: The district should intensify schistosomiasis control activities and educational programmes among the poor communities in jinja.