Malawi Medical Journal

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Sentinel surveillance of Lymphatic filariasis, Schistosomiasis, Soil transmitted helminths and Malaria in rural southern Malawi

K Msyamboza, B Ngwira, R Banda, S Mkwanda, B Brabin


Background: Baseline prevalence and knowledge, attitude and perception
(KAP) survey is a prerequisite for mass drug administration for the control
of Lymphatic filariasis (LF) and other neglected tropical diseases.
Methods: In preparation for the first mass drug administration for LF elimination, a baseline survey was conducted in six sentinel sites in the
southern Malawi, amongst participants aged five years or more. A standard
questionnaire was used to obtain data on socio-demographic factors, ownership and use of bed nets, previous ingestion of ivermectin and
KAP toward hydrocele and lymphoedema. Finger prick blood samples were collected from 22:00 to 01:00 hours for LF microscopy, malaria and haemoglobin examination. Stool and urine samples were collected for
internal helminths and schistosomiasis respectively.
Results: A total of 1, 903 participants were enrolled. Knowledge on the
cause of hydrocele and lymphoedema was low in all the sentinel sites (16%-42%, 10%-24% (respectively). Sexual intercourse with a menstruating woman, bad weather and HIV/AIDS were perceived causes of hydrocele. Microfilaraemia prevalence was 1.5% and varied little between sentinel sites (1.0%-2.1%). Childhood urinary schistosomiasis was common in Phalombe (94.9%) and Blantyre (26.9%).
Conclusion Integrated approach and understanding of the community
KAP is vital or successful implementation of LF elimination programme
AJOL African Journals Online