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Impact of Schistosomiaisis in Kasansa Health Zone in Democratic Republic of Congo

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ABSTRACT Background: Schistosomiasis is a chronic parasitological disease and constitutes one of the major neglected public health problems in the word. The consequences that this disease causes in the population are subject of controversy. The aim of this study was to assess the impact of schistosomiasis in term of malnutrition, anemia and low school performance in an endemic region, naïve of interventions. Methods: The study was conducted in Kasansa health zone in Democratic Republic of Congo where schistosomiasis has been endemic for decades. School aged children were recruited at home. From each child, anthropometric measures, biological and laboratory exams were obtained. The questionnaire was used for economic status, behavior and other factors related to schistosomiasis. Regression logistic was used to control confounding factors. A 95% confidence interval was used for statistically significance. Results: The proportion of malnutrition was 53.8%, anemia 67.0% and low school performance 41.1%. In this health zone, the study found and confirmed a high proportion of children who are infected with S. mansoni (89.3%) and malaria (65.1%). Conclusions: This study showed high proportions of complications that are usually reported as associated with schistosomiasis, among school aged children in the health zone of Kasansa. Future studies are needed to show causality and to find efficient ways to control these morbidities.

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