Irrigation Practices and Intestinal Helminth Infections in Southern and Central Zones of Tigray

  • T Dejenie
  • B Petros


Background: Irrigation practices have impact on the distribution of schistosomiasis; so, identifying newly established
schistosomiasis transmission foci allows for designing prevention and control strategy.
Objective: To establish schistosomiasis prevalence and intensity in relation to development of water bodies for
Methods: A survey of stool specimens of 2000 school children using Kato thick smear method was carried out in
Central and Southern Tigray between October 2001 and January 2002.
Results: Among the 1012 males and 998 females examined, 29% males and 27.5% females were found positive for
one or more parasite. The prevalence of S. mansoni was 27% in longstanding irrigated, 10.8% in recently constructed
irrigation schemes and 1.8% in the non-irrigated rural localities. In the urban setting, its prevalence was 15.5% in areas
with water body nearby and 0.5% in areas with no water body nearby (P<0.0001). New S. mansoni infection foci were
detected in Tumuga with a prevalence of 87%; Dibdibo (41%), Mariam Shewito (25%), Adiha (23%) and Lekia (9%).
Conclusion: The increasing risk of schistosomiasis mansoni in the irrigation sites is high. Hence, designing preventive
and control strategies concurrent with the development of the irrigation projects will be required to reduce prevalence
of schistosomiasis.

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eISSN: 1021-6790