The epidemiology and chemotherapeutic approaches to the control of urinary schistosomiasis in school-age children (SAC): a systematic review.
BACKGROUND: Human schistosomiases are acute and chronic infectious diseases of poverty. Currently, epidemiological data of urinary schistosomiasis (US) in school-age children (SAC) and adults are often reported together making it difficult to ascertain the true status of the disease. Based on this premise, we set out to carry out this review.
METHOD: To achieve this aim, we carried out a computer-aided search of PubMed, Web of Science, Science Direct, African Journals OnLine (AJOL) and the database of World Health Organization. However, the information obtained from these sources was supplemented with additional literatures from Mendeley, Research Gate, and Google.
RESULTS: The search yielded 183 literatures of which 93 full text research, review and online articles were deemed fit for inclusion. Our key findings showed that: (1) of all World Health Organization (WHO) Regions, Africa is the most endemic zone for US, with Kenya and Senegal recording the highest prevalence and mean intensity respectively; (2) SAC within the range of 5-16 years contribute most significantly to the transmission cycle of US globally; (3) gender is a factor to watch out for, with male often recording the highest prevalence and intensity of infection; (4) contact with open, potentially infested water sources contribute significantly to transmission; (5) parental factors (occupation and education status) predispose SAC to US; (6) economic vis a vis ecological factors play a key role in infection transmission; and (7) in the last decade, a treatment coverage of 45% was never achieved globally for SAC or non-SAC treatment category for urinary schistosomiasis.
CONCLUSION: In view of the WHO strategic plan to eliminate schistosomiasis by 2020 and the findings from this review, it is obvious that this goal, in the face of realities, might not be achieved. It is imperative that annual control programmes be scaled up marginally, particularly in the African region of WHO. While US-based researches should be sponsored at the grass-root level to unveil hidden endemic foci, adequate facilities for Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene (WASH) should be put in place in all schools globally.