Volume 98, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



Schistosomiasis remains a major public health problem in Kenya. The World Health Organization recommends preventive chemotherapy with praziquantel (PZQ) to control morbidity due to schistosomiasis. Morbidity is considered linked to intensity of infection, which along with prevalence is used to determine the frequency of mass drug administration (MDA) to school-age children. We determined the impact of annual school-based MDA on children across all primary and high school years using a repeated cross-sectional study design in five schools near Lake Victoria in western Kenya, an area endemic for . At baseline and for the following four consecutive years, between 897 and 1,440 school children in Grades 1–12 were enrolled and evaluated by Kato-Katz for and soil-transmitted helminths (STH), followed by annual MDA with PZQ and albendazole. Four annual rounds of MDA with PZQ were associated with reduced prevalence in all school children (44.7–14.0%; < 0.001) and mean intensity of infection by 91% (90.4 to 8.1 eggs per gram [epg] of stool; < 0.001). Prevalence of high-intensity infection (≥ 400 epg) decreased from 6.8% at baseline to 0.3% by the end of the study. Soil-transmitted helminth infections, already low at baseline, also decreased significantly over the years. In this high prevalence area, annual school-based MDA with high coverage across all Grades (1–12) resulted in rapid and progressive declines in overall prevalence and intensity of infection. This decrease was dramatic in regard to heavy infections in older school-attending children.

[open-access] This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.


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  • Received : 21 Nov 2017
  • Accepted : 05 Jan 2018

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