Prevalence of schistosomiasis and soil- transmitted helminthes and the associated risk factors among primary school children aged 10-14 years in Buyende District-Eastern Uganda
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Infestations of Schistosoma mansoni and STHs in children especially among the primary school age group is still a problem of public health concern in Uganda with an estimated prevalence in some areas at 4.5% despite the mass drug administration that has been on-going since year 2003.The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of Shistosoma mansoni and STHs and the associated factors in effort to devise appropriate intervention strategies. A mixed method cross-sectional study was carried out in Buyende District, eastern Uganda, among primary school children aged 10-14 years. Feacal samples were obtained from a total of 400 respondents from nine randomly selected primary schools after which were interviewed using an interview guide. In addition, key informant interviews were conducted with the district personnel including; District Health Officer, District Vector Control Officer, District Focal Person for the Neglected Tropical Diseases and the village health workers that included Village Health Teams. Data were analyzed using STATA version 14 at both univariate and multivariate levels. The outcome variable of the study was prevalence of S. mansoni and STHs among the children aged 10-14 years. Unadjusted and adjusted logistic regression was done to measure the relationship of S. mansoni with soil- transmitted helminthes infestation and the associated risk factors. S. mansoni was recorded while the major identified STHs were Ascaris lumbricoides, hook worms and Trichuris trichiura. There was a decrease in the prevalence of S. mansoni from 32% in 2011 to 16% in 2018. Apart from the hookworm that scored 6.7% the rest of the STH were negligible. There was a very strong association between education level of the caretaker and risk of having the parasites (p-value <0.001; aOR=17.5, CI=5.35-50.96). The co-infestation prevalence of S. mansoni with STH was 5%. According to WHO (2012) prevalence of 32% for S. mansoni is rated a high. As such, it is recommended that the district health management unit come up with a package to sensitize the communities. The government should incorporate training manuals into Public Health Care system to be made available to all that are in need of them, thereby increasing the knowledge thereof.