SCHSTOSOMIASIS IN THE FINCHAA RIVER VALLEY, WELLEGA REGION, WESTERN ETIHIOPIA

Abstract

ABSTRACT: Parasitological and malacological surveys were carried out in the Finchaa Valley, Wellega Region, western Ethiopia. Stool examination of 960 persons in the 10 communities surveyed showed an average human prevalence of 12.4% for Schistosoma mansoni. Infected individuals were present in 6 communities, but prevalence was greater than 10% in only three of them, reaching 40% among school children in one community. In endemic localities, the intensity of infection in terms of eggs per gram of faeces were 200 and 199 among school children and farm labours respectively. The age specific prevalence and intensity of infection were highest among the 5-14 year age group. The intermediate host of S. mansoni, Biomphalaria pfeifferi were collected from three sites, but transmission was identified at only one site located in the lower portion of the valley. Bulinus truncatus, the potential intermediate host of S. haematobium in Ethiopia, was also present in the area. The occurrence of infected human subjects and snail intermediate host confirm that Schistosoma mansoni is well established in the valley, particularly in the lower portion where a large irrigation development is under way. In this report, the threat posed by both S. Mansoni and S. haematobium is discussed and the preventive/control measures to be taken are suggested. [Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 1993; 7(1):9-15]
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