Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Public Health. 2007 Dec;121(12):923-34. Epub 2007 Sep 19.

Socio-demographic characteristics of children infested with scabies in densely populated communities of residential madrashas (Islamic education institutes) in Dhaka, Bangladesh.

Author information

1
Department of Dermatology, Holy Family Red Crescent Medical College Hospital, Eskaton, Dhaka 1000, Bangladesh. sakarim@hotmail.com

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Outbreaks of scabies in institutions and the socio-economic consequences have not been reported from overpopulated countries such as Bangladesh.

STUDY DESIGN:

A community-based study among children from six residential Islamic education institutes (madrashas) in Dhaka. Multistage random sampling was used.

OBJECTIVES:

To study the socio-economic profile, water-sanitation facilities, personal hygiene and living conditions of these children.

METHODOLOGY:

Direct interviews were used to collect the data and clinical check up was performed in all children.

RESULTS:

In total, 492 children received clinical check-ups; 92.5% were boys (mean age: 11.2+/-2.4 years). 63.4% of fathers and 98.5% of mothers were either illiterate or had only received primary education, 55.1% of fathers were in low-paid labouring jobs, and 99% of mothers were housewives. Of the 98% of children who had scabies, 71% had been re-infected (96% during the winter). Randomly assigned anti-scabies drugs revealed an average cure rate of 85.5%. Seventy-four percent of children were living in poorly ventilated buildings with overcrowded sleeping arrangements. They had poor personal hygiene: 21% shared towels; 8% shared undergarments; 30% shared bed linen; and 81% kept their used clothes on a communal line or shelf. Sanitation was also poor: 39% bathed infrequently, although 97% carried out mandatory ablution. Most children (61%) washed their clothes (including undergarments) two or three times a fortnight, 35% did so every 2-3 days, and 3.7% washed their clothes on alternative days. Disease severity and re-infection were associated with infrequent washing of clothes (P<0.001) and bed linen (P<0.001), overcrowded sleeping arrangements (P<0.001) and infrequent bathing (P<0.001) with soap (P<0.001). This was further related to household income (P<0.001 for both).

CONCLUSION:

The study findings have potentially dangerous implications for public health. Immediate attention should be given to developing a sustainable long-term intervention programme to combat scabies hyperendemicity, and to save thousands of children from impending complications.

PMID:
17884117
DOI:
10.1016/j.puhe.2006.10.019
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center