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In this study, the prevalence and intensity of Schistosoma haematobium infection was determined among school-age children living in the Middle and Lower Awash Valley, Afar Regional State of Ethiopia. Between February and May 2014, urine samples were collected from 885 school-age children (5–16 years of age) from the Middle (n = 632; 4 villages) and Lower (n = 253; 3 villages) Awash Valley. All samples were processed using urine filtration to detect and quantify S. haematobium eggs. In addition, a subset of the urine samples was tested for hematuria using a urine dipstick (n = 556). The overall prevalence was 20.8% (95% Confidence Interval (CI) = 18.1%, 23.5%), based on urine filtration but the prevalence considerably varied across villages both in the Middle (from 12.5%to 37.0%) and Lower Awash Valley (from 0 to 5.3%). The overall mean urine egg count (UEC) among the infected children was 4.0 eggs/10 ml of urine (95% CI = 2.43, 5.52). The infection intensity varied from 0.4 eggs/10 ml of urine to 7.7 eggs/10 ml of urine in the Middle Awash Valley, and from 0 to 1.1 eggs/10 ml of urine in Lower Awash Valley. Age and sex were not associated with S. haematobium infection based on the multivariable logistic regression model. The prevalence of hematuria was 56.3% (95% CI = 52.2%, 60.4%) among a subset of the study participants (556) examined using the urine dipstick. The prevalence of hematuria also varies with villages from 8.3% to 93.2%. In conclusion, the prevalence of S. haematobium infection in the Middle Awash Valley was high and it varies across villages. Hence, children living in the present study villages of the Middle Awash Valley need to be treated with praziquantel to reduce morbidity and disrupt transmission.
Degarege A, Mekonnen Z, Levecke B, Legesse M, Negash Y, Vercruysse J, et al. (2015) Prevalence of Schistosoma haematobium Infection among School-Age Children in Afar Area, Northeastern Ethiopia. PLoS ONE 10(8): e0133142. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0133142