AN EPIDEMIOLOGICAL STUDY OF URINARY BILHARZIASIS AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOL LEARNERS IN THE RURAL AREAS OF THE ILEMBE DISTRICT IN KWAZULU NATAL

Vino Mudly, Dr K Naidoo

Abstract


Schistosomiasis is one of the major health problems in tropical and sub-tropical countries. The coastal areas of Kwa –Zulu Natal represents the bilharzias endemic areas of South Africa.  The study will involve grade four  learners from five  rural  schools in the Ilembe district  in  KwaZulu  Natal .These areas are rural and the populations have a high frequency of water contact in their daily activities. This study will determine the prevalence of bilharziasis among rural schoolchildren in the Ilembe district, north of the Tugela River by using the reagent strip detected haematuria and proteinuria in the urines of these learners. Many studies have shown that the reagent strips detected haematuria and proteinuria are highly associated with S.haematobium infections, particularly in children. Use of dipsticks proved sensitive (77, 5%) and specific (87, 1 %) and dipsticks would improve clinic –based diagnoses.

 The study will also determine the knowledge and human water contact behavioral patterns of the learners living in the rural areas and based on the findings appropriate recommendations will be made to the relevant authorities.