Prevalence, infection intensity and geographical distribution of schistosomiasis among pre‑school and school aged children in villages surrounding Lake Nyasa

The sub-Saharan African region, carries 90% of the over 250 million cases of schistosomiasis occurring worldwide. In this region, after Nigeria, Tanzania is second country having the highest cases of schistosomiasis and approximately 51.5%0 of the Tanzanian population is either exposed or live in areas with high risk of exposure. The country is endemic to both Schistosoma mansoni and Schistosoma haematobium, these infections are common in communities characterised with limited access to water, sanitation, hygienic practices and health services. Schistosoma mansoni infection is associated with hepatosplenic disease characterised with hepatomegaly, splenomegaly, progressive periportal fibrosis (PPF) which can lead to portal hypertension and its related sequelae, mainly ascites, liver surface irregularities, oesophageal varices and haematemesis. The main consequences of S. haematobium infection are haematuria, dysuria, nutritional deficiencies, urinary bladder lesions, hydronephrosis, urinary bladder squamous cell carcinoma and in children, growth retardation. Preventive chemotherapy using mass drug administration (MDA) of praziquantel targeting primary school aged children is the main strategy for controlling schistosomiasis in Tanzania.