The prevalence of enuresis among primary school children in Zaria, Nigeria

  • NH Mbibu
  • EA Ameh
  • AU Shehu
  • RD Wammanda


Background: Enuresis is a common but usually under reported developmental urologic disorder affecting children most commonly. There is evidence of affectation of normal development and social stigmatization of the enuretics apart from it being a real social nuisance. Among the African children this problem is often neglected and the preferred types of treatment are traditional methods. There may be serious implications in the child including ,emotional ,social and mental maladjustment.

Method: This study was carried out during a six month period in four densely populated primary schools in Zaria. Native African Children aged above 5 years were included in the study and children with history of neuro-psychiatric or obvious urologic disorders were excluded. A structured closed- ended questionnaire was administered to the target group.

Results: Enuresis was found in 214/1416(22.2%) of the children. The age range was 5-14 years with a median of 8 years. The male: female ratio of 2:1. 96.6 % (211/214) of affected children had nocturnal enuresis while (1.4%)3/214, had day time enuresis only. Both day time and nocturnal enuresis were seen in 2.8%(6/214) of the children. 75%(160/214) enuretics were mild-moderate and wetted bed less than 10 times /month. The ratio of the female to male ratio in this group was 1:1. 25.4%54/214) enuresis was severe and could not quantify the number of wet nights/month. Only 4/54(7.4%) children in the group considered severe were female the 50 others were male. 74.6%(160/214 ) of the children were enuretic from birth with no describable dry periods . 25.4%(54/214) enuresis commenced long after birth and symptoms were recurrent with long dry spells. In 200/214(88.%) children the mother had received conventional Ante Natal Care(ANC) and subsequent delivery was supervised in the Hospital while in 14/214(6.5%) of the children the mothers did not have ANC and delivery was un-supervised at home. There was no significant correlation between(ANC), mode of delivery and enuresis although two children delivered by caesarean section have severe enuresis among a group of 52 children with sever enuresis whose mothers had routine ANC before an uneventful delivery. (20/214) 3% had co –morbidities: asthma and epilepsy. The majority of parents were mostly low income workers. Most patients were managed preferably by varied traditional techniques with usually unsatisfactory outcomes. Only (74/214) 43% performed above average in school.

Conclusion: Enuresis is a common and usually neglected urologic condition in our environment. The significant prevalence in the older child may have important implications on quality of the child's development. Health education will encourage parents to present early to avoid crippling associated complications.

Nigerian Journal of Surgical Research Vol. 7(1&2) 2005: 187–190

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eISSN: 1595-1103