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The prevalence of hookworm and of schistosoma haematobium in rural zambia


, : The prevalence of hookworm and of schistosoma haematobium in rural zambia. Tropical and Geographical Medicine 29(4): 415-421

The prevalence of hookworm and of Schistosoma haematobium in a representative sample of the rural population of 7 provinces of Zambia was assessed during a National Nutrition Status Survey. A total of 7212 people of all age and sex groups were examined for hookworm, of whom 4920 (68%) provided a stool sample; of these 48.6% were positive. Regional figures ranged between 11.4% and 77.1%. No differentiation between species of hookworm was attempted nor was it possible to assess the worm load of the individuals surveyed. Hookworm is highly endemic within the rural areas and this is discussed in relation to its known effects on the general health of the population studied during the survey, and the impact of hookworm infestation on morbidity. A total of 7479 people were examined for S. haematobium, of whom 5877 (79%) provided a urine sample; of these 16.6% had urinary bilharziasis. Regional prevalence varied between 0.6% and 64.5%. S. haematobium infection was endemic in rural areas comprising the Zambezi river drainage system in the West and South of Zambia. The major water systems of the north showed lower degrees of endemicity and the Lake Bangeulu swamp had the lowest incidence. Interregional migration of people within the rural areas was considerable and this was discussed in relation to the possible escalation in rates of incidence especially in areas currently exhibiting low endemicity.

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