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Importance of schistosomiasis in the Isoka district of Zambia: A prerequisite for its control using community participation

By Seter Siziya and Martin Mushanga


The opinion has long been held that only by treating cases individually could diseases be controlled or eradicated. This view has been adopted from time immemorial and has failed miserably in, for instance, the control of schistosomiasis. This paper presents views of the head teachers on the prominence of schistosomiasis in the Isoka district, Zambia, as a step towards their involvement in a community mediated programme for the control of schistosomiasis. Information was sought on the importance of schistosomiasis in the district by means of two questionnaires, one distributed to head teachers, and the other to school children. Lack of clean water was considered to be the leading factor by 71 (82.6%) teachers. Generally, schistosomiasis was not considered to be a prominent disease in the district. Nevertheless, teachers from highly infected areas ranked schistosomiasis as a health problem higher than those teachers from schools with lower prevalences (P = 0.002). The implications of these results to implementing a district wide schistosomiasis control programme covering both infected and uninfected areas are discussed.schistosomiasis control community Zambia

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