Schistosomiasis haematobium prevalence and risk factors in a school-age population of peri-urban Lusaka, Zambia

J Trop Pediatr. 2010 Aug;56(4):247-53. doi: 10.1093/tropej/fmp106. Epub 2009 Nov 5.


Given association of the parasite Schistosoma haematobium with coastal and rural/agricultural populations, there is little documentation to date of infection patterns in today's rapidly urbanizing non-coastal regions. We conducted an observational study of 5-17-year-old school children (N = 1583) in peri-urban compounds of Lusaka, Zambia. Demographic information, medical history, physical examination findings and urinalysis results were recorded. Prevalence of schistosomiasis in the population was 20.72%. Significant risk factors for infection were male gender [odds ratio (OR) 2.42], age of 9-12 years or 13-17 years (OR 3.33 and 3.26, respectively, compared with 5-8-year-olds) and single and/or double orphan status (OR 1.43). Clinical officers detected schistosomiasis with a sensitivity of 24.70% and a specificity of 98.17% after history and physical examination. These results reveal that peri-urban populations have a significant but under-recognized vulnerability to infection, and suggest that only history and physical examination are inadequate for identifying a treatment population.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Age Distribution
  • Animals
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parasite Egg Count
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Schistosoma haematobium / isolation & purification*
  • Schistosoma haematobium / parasitology
  • Schistosoma mansoni / isolation & purification*
  • Schistosoma mansoni / parasitology
  • Schistosomiasis haematobia / diagnosis
  • Schistosomiasis haematobia / epidemiology*
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni / diagnosis
  • Schistosomiasis mansoni / epidemiology*
  • Schools
  • Sex Factors
  • Socioeconomic Factors
  • Urban Population
  • Urine / parasitology
  • Zambia / epidemiology