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Ellucidating the incidence and the prevalence of Schistosomiasis spp infection in riparian communities of the Bui dam

Gyasi, Samuel Fosu, Boateng, Abigail Antwiwaa, Awuah, Esi, Antwi, Eric Ofosu
Journal of parasitic diseases 2019 v.43 no.2 pp. 276-288
Schistosoma haematobium, Schistosoma mansoni, children, cross-sectional studies, dams (hydrology), experimental design, feces, humans, rivers, schistosomiasis, urine, watersheds, Ghana
The flow rate of rivers are affected when modifications are made for the benefit of mankind. Some man-made alterations carried out include dam construction. The aim of this study was to investigate the health impact of the Bui dam with respect to the prevalence and awareness level of schistosomiasis in a typical damming environment. The study was conducted in 4 riparian communities within the dam catchment area. A cross-sectional study design was employed to interview 350 individuals. Urine and stool samples were also collected from 386 participants. Results of the study showed that, knowledge of schistosomiasis was significantly greater in close communities (99.47%) than their far counterparts (50.29%) (p > 0.001; OR = 172). Schistosomiasis infection rate in the close communities (32.57%) were significantly greater in far communities (7.23%; p ≤ 0.0001). The overall prevalence of 82 (21.1%) was recorded for Schistosoma haematobium and 64 (16.1%) for Schistosoma mansoni. A significantly high prevalence of S. haematobium (43.3%) was found in the age group 15–24 with no prevalence reported for age group 5–9 (Close communities) (p = 0.012). When the same age group was further examined for S. mansonii, group 5–9 recorded a prevalence of 0% with age group 10–14 showing a high prevalence of 26.1% (p = 0.047). From the study, it was concluded that, though awareness level of Schistosomiasis knowledge on the cause, mode of transmission and symptoms were high, they were ignorant on personal preventive strategies. In addition, the study also revealed that, S. haematobium was more prevalent among inhabitants living closer to the Bui dam with children less than 14 years of age being the worst affected.