Evaluation of the Efficacy of Chemotherapy Based Control of Soil-transmitted Helminth Infections and Schistosomiasis among School-age Children in sub-Saharan Africa
Keywords:soil-transmitted helminth, schistosomiasis, chemotherapy
Introduction: School-age children apart from being high risk group for soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections and schistosomiasis, also play an important epidemiological role in the transmission of these infections. The objective of this review was to assess the efficacy of chemotherapy based control of STH infections and schistosomiasis among school-age children in sub-Saharan Africa.
Method: A systematic review of studies on the use of chemotherapeutic interventions in the control of STH infections and schistosomiasis among school-age children in sub-Saharan Africa was conducted. Using the Medline Entrez-Pubmed Search, relevant publications were identified via combination of keys words such as soil-transmitted helminths, schistosomiasis, school-age children, chemotherapy, Africa.
Result: Praziquantel was the most common schistosomicidal drug evaluated, while mebendazole and albendazole were the common chemotherapeutic agents used in the treatment of STHs evaluated. Egg reduction rates (ERR) of >90 % and cure rates (CR) of >80 % were recorded in most cases of schistosomiasis in school-age children following praziquantel treatment. Majority of the studies recorded cure rates of >75 % for Ascaris lumbricoides and hookworm infections following albendazole treatment. However, the efficacy of albendazole was poor against Trichuris trichiura infection.
Conclusion: Regular anthelminthic treatment of school-age children will significantly reduce both morbidity and adverse consequences attributed to STH infections and schistosomiasis.
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