Volume 35, Issue 5
  • ISSN: 0002-9637
  • E-ISSN: 1476-1645



School attendance records of all primary schools in a guinea worm-endemic village in southwestern Nigeria were examined to determine the cause of missed school days and school drop-outs. At the time of the survey, 1,495 pupils (768 boys and 727 girls) were registered in the 4 primary schools in the village, of which 21% of the pupils were infected with guinea worm disease (GWD). Female pupils had a higher infection rate than their male counterparts. Guinea worm-infected pupils missed up to 25% of school year days compared to a non-guinea worm-infected absence of 2.5%. At the height of guinea worm season in the study area, guinea worm-related absences contributed virtually all of the absenteeism recorded in the schools. Implications of the findings within the context of educational attainment of the pupils are discussed.


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