Factors affecting knowledge of the symptoms of schistosomiasis in two rural areas near Ismailia, Egypt

Trop Med Int Health. 1997 Nov;2(11):A36-47.


The primary method of control of schistosomiasis in Egypt is through passive chemotherapy, in which people who suspect they have the disease are encouraged to go to their local health unit to be tested and treated. If people are unable to recognize the symptoms of schistosomiasis, this strategy may fail. This paper presents data on local knowledge of the symptoms of schistosomiasis from two areas recently reclaimed from the desert near Ismailia. Using data from free-listing and triadic comparisons, it is shown that schistosomiasis is primarily seen as a urinary disease. Factor analysis performed on a series of 12 questions on the symptoms of schistosomiasis included in a survey demonstrated that responses group into three patterns, the first stressing constitutional symptoms such as weakness, the second stressing abdominal symptoms and the third blood in the urine, burning on urination and blood in the stool. The paper discusses the implications of these findings for efforts to promote regular treatment with praziquantel of people living in or near the Nile Delta who are at risk for intestinal schistosomiasis.

MeSH terms

  • Egypt
  • Health Education
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice*
  • Humans
  • Rural Population
  • Schistosomiasis* / diagnosis
  • Schistosomiasis* / drug therapy
  • Television