Author(s): Chinwe E, Agi P
Aim: To determine the distribution and endemicity of Urogenital schistosomiasis infection among Fulani Pastoralists in their various bush encampments in Rivers State, Nigeria. Study Design: Cross –sectional, descriptive study. Place and Duration of Study: Rivers State, Nigeria, between November 2009 and January 2011. Methodology: Urine samples were collected from 593 Fulani pastoralists from six bush encampments and examined for schistosome eggs using centrifugation method. The number of eggs obtained per 10ml of urine specimen was counted and quantified as intensity of infection. Egg counts were reported according to the following categories. Light infection ≤50eggs/10ml of urine, moderate infection- ≥50≤100 eggs/10ml of urine, heavy infection- ≥100 eggs/10ml of urine of urine. Urine samples were tested for proteinuria and haematuria using commercial reagent strips capable of detecting urinary blood, protein and other parameters. Results: Of the 593 Fulani pastoralists who were investigated, 394(66.4%) were infected with a mean overall intensity of 83.3±2.0 eggs/10ml of urine. The herdsmen in Eleme and Oyigbo bush encampments had the highest prevalence of 91(81.3%) and 77(76.2%) respectively with a mean intensity of 96.1±4.0 and 93.1±5.1 eggs/10ml urine. There were significantly more infected males than the females (p<0.05). The subjects aged 21-30 years had the highest prevalence 92 (76.0%) with heavy intensity of infection (25.0%). About 169(42.9%) of infected Fulani’s excreted ≥50≤100 eggs/10ml of urine while 132(33.5%) excreted ≥100 eggs/10ml of urine. Haematuria was recorded in 444(74.9%) with majority observed in 31-40 years age group while 427(72.0%) tested positive for proteinuria. Conclusion: The results revealed high prevalence and intensity rates of Schistosoma haematobium among the Fulani herdsmen. Since such herdsmen are always on the move in search of greener pastures they would always pollute water bodies and thus serve as source of transmission to neighbouring communities. Health education campaigns by health workers as well as intensified integrated control measures are advocated.