Are health education interventions effective for the control and prevention of urogenital schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa? A systematic review.
An estimated 129 million people are infected with urogenital schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa. Current control recommendations endorse mass administration of praziquantel. Health education is an important component of effective schistosomiasis prevention and control, but there has been limited research on its effectiveness. This paper reviews the effectiveness of health education as an intervention in the prevention and control of urogenital schistosomiasis in sub-Saharan Africa. The outcomes of interest were prevalence, incidence or transmission of schistosomiasis, behaviour change associated with infection, or changes in knowledge of the disease. The findings from this review suggest that health education has a beneficial impact on knowledge and understanding of schistosomiasis within the target groups. However, further research is needed due to the poor quality of the included studies.