Introduction: Schistosomiasis, the second endemic parasitic infection in the world, is a parasitosis caused by trematodes from the genus Schistosoma. Our study aims to assess the prevalence of different species of schistosomes (Schistosoma mansoni, haematobium and intercalatum) among schoolchildren and to identify risk factors, clinical signs of schistosomiasis, and schistosomiasis intermediate host snails in stagnant water. Methods: We conducted a cross sectional study over a three months period. The study consisted of sociodemographic and clinical data recording, collection of stool samples and urine, molluscan research and treatment of positive students for other helminths. Laboratory tests were performed at the Medical Research Institute and the study of Medicinal Plants in Yaounde where stool samples and urine were examined using KATO KATZ and centrifugation technique respectively, and shellfish species were determined by a malacologist. Results: A total of 400 students aged between 8-16 years, 223 (55.7%) girls and 177 (44.3%) boys attending 4 elementary school were enrolled in the study. The social survey revealed that 154 students out of 400 (or 38.5%) were in contact with the river water at least once a week, 58% from around noon. All students had at least one symptom of schistosomiasis although nonspecific and dominated by abdominal pain in 72% of cases (n = 288 of 400). Biologically, no schistosomiasis eggs were detected. Cercaria releasing rate was negative in the 100 watery species found. Conclusion: The Santchou health area is not an active outbreak of schistosomiasis, but remains a risk area because of rice cultivation and stagnant water. The intensification of health education campaigns among the general population would delay the onset of this infection in the locality.
The Pan African Medical Journal 2016;24