Research Article Open Access
Objective: To determine the prevalence of rheumatic heart disease
(RHD) among primary school students in Shashemene town of Oromia regional state of Ethiopia.
Method: Using a cross sectional study design and a multistage sampling technique, pupils were selected from public and private primary schools in Shashemene town. They were clinically screened for evidence of RHD by auscultating for significant murmurs. The students with significant murmurs then had echocardiographic
evaluation to confirm the presence of RHD.
Results: Out of the 1874 students recruited, 956 (51.01%) were females while 918 (48.99%) were males. The mean age of the students was 8.86 ± 2.14 years. 1162 (62.01%) and 712(37.99%) respectively were recruited from public and private schools. Of the 1874 students, fifteen (0.80%) had significant murmur. Only six of the fifteen had RHD, giving a prevalence of 3.2/1000 students. Four of the students with RHD were females and the rest two were males, all from public school and in the low socioeconomic class.
Conclusion: The prevalence of RHD in this study is low compared to similar studies conducted previously in the country. The true prevalence may be underestimated since higher prevalence is obtained from echocardiographic screening compared to clinical screening.
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Author(s): Hailu Abera Mulatu*, Mihret Woldemichael and Mengistu Aberra