Pan African Medical Journal

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Age and sex prevalence of infectious dermatoses among primary school children in a rural South-Eastern Nigerian community

EI Kalu, V Wagbatsoma, E Ogbaini-Emovon, VU Nwadike, CK Ojide


Introduction: Various dermatoses, due to their morbidity characteristics, have been shown to negatively impact on learning. The most epidemiologically important seem to be the infectious types because of their transmissibility and amenability to simple school-health measures. The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence and sex/age correlates of infectious dermatoses in a rural South-eastern Nigerian community.

Methods: The pupils were proportionately recruited from the three primary schools based on school population. Stratified simple random sampling
method was adopted and a table of random numbers was used to select required pupils from each arm. Clinical and laboratory examination was
done to establish diagnoses of infectious skin disease. Data collected were analyzed using SPSS version 16.

Results: The 400 pupils consisted of 153 males and 247 females. Age range was between 6 and 12 years. The prevalence of infectious  dermatoses was 72.3%. The five most prevalent clinical forms of infectious dermatoses, in order of decreasing prevalence, were tinea capitis (35.2%), scabies (10.5%), tinea corporis (5.8%), tinea pedis (5.5%), and impetigo (5.0%). More cases, generally, occurred among males than females  (80.4% vs 67.2%)); while some specific clinical types, pediculosis and seborrheic dermatitis, exhibited predilection for females. Pyodermas and scabies were significantly more prevalent in the 7-9 age-group; while tinea capitis, tinea corporis, seborrheic dermatitis and pediculosis were more associated with .10 age-group.

Conclusion: Infectious dermatoses were highly prevalent in the surveyed population. Many of the clinical types exhibited sex- and age-specificity.
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