Schistosomiasis in Cameroon: an assessment of community knowledge pattern
Objective: Schistosomiasis is one of the most widespread of all human parasitic diseases and is a serious health problem in Cameroon despite
tremendous efforts by health authorities. The purpose of this study was to determine community knowledge of the infection in order to evaluate
control programmes put in place.
Methods: A random sampling method was used to administer questionnaires to 3200 individuals in 80 communities throughout the ten regions of the country.
Results: Globally the percentage of persons with good knowledge of schistosomiasis was low (28.8%). Of the 2586 who responded 1311 (50.7%) were females and 1275 (49.3%) were males. There was a statistically significant difference in the community knowledge pattern by gender (X2= 157.28, P<0.05), and persons with good knowledge were more frequent among males than females (61.8% vs. 38.2% P<0.05). The percentage of people who had good knowledge about the disease was highest in the Far North region (35.4), followed by the North (33.8) and the South- west (31.1) regions, There was a statistically significant difference in community knowledge pattern of Schistosomiasis by region and gender
(X2=1265.648 P<0.001). Also, there was a statistically significant difference in community knowledge pattern of by setting (X2=38.538 P=0.001)
and the percentage of people who had a good knowledge of the disease was higher in rural areas than in urban areas (72.5% vs. 3.1% P<0.05).
Conclusion: was a low community knowledge pattern of schistosomiasis, mostly among the female population and among people living in urban
areas. We advocated that health education should be adopted as one of the control strategies by the
Keywords: Community knowledge, schistosomiasis, Cameroon