Some socio-cultural determinants of urinary schistosomiasis in Ipogun community, south western Nigeria: implications for prevention and control.
A study of urinary schistosomiasis in school children was undertaken in Ipogun Community in Ifedore Local government Area of Ondo State, Western Nigeria, with the objectives of determining the behavioural factors, traditional beliefs, attitude, socio-cultural conditions and behavioural pattern of the local people that affect the endemicity of the disease. A total of 417 urine samples were examined from children of primary school age between 10 and 18 years old, after informed consent from the community leader and the school authorities. Short and simple questionnaires were applied to obtain useful information on the socio-cultural, economic and behavioural pattern of members of the community. Microscopic examination of the centrifuged urine deposits revealed that 221 (53%) pupils had Schistosoma haematobium ova in their urine. The intensities of infection varied between <50 eggs / 10ml of urine (14.87%) and > 50 eggs / 10ml of urine (38.13%), with a mean intensity of 30-73 eggs / 10ml of urine (26.5%). A lack of knowledge of the disease had highly significant effect (p < 0.05) on their susceptibility to infection, social status and psyche. The study has revealed that urinary schistosomiasis is still endemic in Ipogun Community despite previous attempts by the Ministry of Health to eliminate the disease. The re-emergence and persistence of the disease after the mass treatment campaign is due to socio-cultural, economic and behavioural factors. The need for more awareness, poverty reduction and educational campaign on the prevention and control of the disease in the community is discussed.
Keywords: Socio-cultural determinants, urinary schistosomiasis, Ipogun Community, prevention, control.