THE EFFECT OF HEALTH EDUCATION AND MASS ADMINISTRATION OF PRAZIQUANTEL ON THE PREVALENCE OF URINARY SCHISTOSOMIASIS AMONG 5-19 YEAR OLD CHILDREN IN LANGAI COMMUNITY, PLATEAU STATE
INTRODUCTION A community based interventional study was carried out among 5-19 year olds in Langai Village to determine the effect of health education and drug treatment on the prevalence of urinary schistosomiasis among the studied population. METHODOLOGY Two hundred and eighteen (218) subjects, who were selected by multi-stage sampling method, were administered structured interviewer administered questionnaires and their urine samples were assayed for S.haematobium ova, before and six weeks after drug treatment with Praziquantel tablets and health education. RESULTS Fourteen (14) of the respondents had urinary schistosomiasis preintervention, giving a prevalence of 6.4% with the age group 5-9 year olds and males having the highest prevalence. Six weeks after treatment, prevalence was significantly reduced to 0.87%, (χ2 =2.37, P=0.0118). The knowledge of the respondents about the disease was very poor pre-intervention but improved significantly after health education. There was no significant change in practices of respondents post intervention. CONCLUSION Praziquantel tablets administration combined with health education proved effective in reducing prevalence of urinary schistosomiasis and improving knowledge among the studied population though practices did not change significantly due to lack of alternative sources of portable water like bore holes.
RECOMMENDATION The health workers in PHC Langai should mobilize the community to provide boreholes in strategic locations to reduce the need for the villagers to visit the river or appeal to influencial persons or government to construct boreholes within the village to reduce the prevalence of urinary schistosomiasis among the studied population.