Effects of Female Genital Schistosomiasis in Reproductive Tract of Women Attending Kwale Hospital in Kwale County, Kenya
Gitau, Jane M. N.
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Background: Female genital Schistosomiasis (FGS) caused by Schistosoma haematobium is a significant public health problem among women living in endemic areas. An estimated 45 million women in sub-Saharan Africa are infected. Chronic infection is associated with bleeding disturbances, abdominal-pelvic pain, painful sexual intercourse, uterine fibroids, spontaneous abortion, cervical cancer and increased risk for transmission of HIV. Aim: To determine the infection rate, distribution pattern and associated genital pathology in S. haematobium infection among females of reproductive age in endemic area in Kwale County, Kenya. Study Design: Descriptive cross-sectional. Study Area: Kwale level four hospital. Study subjects came from the hospital catchment area. Methodology: Prevalence of S. haematobium was determined through urine filtration and microscopy for S. haematobium eggs and by detection of both haematuria and proteinuria using strip reagent analysis. Intensity of S. haematobium infection was determined by scoring the number of eggs per 10 ml of urine. Signs of genital pathology were determined through visual assessment of the genitalia by a gynaecologist. SPSS version 20.0 was used to analyze data. Results: Overall prevalence of S. haematobium was 23%. Intensity of infection was low with majority of infected participants (15.8%) carrying light intensity infections (≤50 eggs/10 ml of urine). Prevalence and intensity of infection was significantly high in women age group 18-23; (χ 2 = 5.778; P = 0.017). Signs of genital pathology were recorded in 46.7% of infected women. The results of this study indicate that female genital schistosomiasis is an important health problem in Kwale County and there is need for the Ministry of Health and the County government of Kwale to improve diagnosis and treatment of the disease as well as initiate strategies to control this problem.