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Bull World Health Organ. 1990;68(6):777-87.

Measurement of schistosomiasis-related morbidity at community level in areas of different endemicity.

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Medizinische Klinik, Kantonsspital, Liestal, Switzerland.


Among the indicators of schistosomiasis morbidity currently used in control programmes, ultrasound has been found to be a safe, non-invasive and efficient technique for detecting schistosomiasis-related lesions and for assessing the effect of treatment on their resolution. Three case-studies from East Africa, in areas of different endemicity for Schistosoma haematobium, using ultrasound are described and their results related to indirect measurements of the disease (e.g., haematuria, egg counts). This review reveals that cross-sectional ultrasound surveys can be used to quickly assess subsamples of populations in areas of different endemicity, in order to make decisions about sampling strategies in control programmes. The association between the intensity of infection and urinary tract abnormalities is reviewed and evaluated. One case study provides information on the resolution of S. haematobium-related uropathy after treatment; this information is crucial in order to maintain low levels of morbidity in a community. The role of ultrasound is further discussed, particularly as a tool to complement and validate indirect morbidity control measurements. The validation of such indirect measurements for use as a basis for public health decisions is important because they can be carried out by existing health care services in many areas.

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