Nationwide cross-sectional survey of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis in Sudan: study protocol

Cited 7 time in Web of Science Cited 7 time in Scopus
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BioMed Central
BMC Public Health, 17(1):703
Nationwide surveySchistosomiasisSoil-transmitted helminthiasisMass drug administrationMapping
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Schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis (STHs) are target neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) of preventive chemotherapy, but the control and elimination of these diseases have been impeded due to resource constraints. Few reports have described study protocol to draw on when conducting a nationwide survey. We present a detailed methodological description of the integrated mapping of schistosomiasis and STHs on the basis of our experiences, hoping that this protocol can be applied to future surveys in similar settings. In addition to determining the ecological zones requiring mass drug administration interventions, we aim to provide precise estimates of the prevalence of these diseases.

A school–based cross-sectional design will be applied for the nationwide survey across Sudan. The survey is designed to cover all districts in every state. We have divided each district into 3 different ecological zones depending on proximity to bodies of water. We will employ a probability-proportional-to-size sampling method for schools and systematic sampling for student selection to provide adequate data regarding the prevalence for schistosomiasis and STHs in Sudan at the state level. A total of 108,660 students will be selected from 1811 schools across Sudan. After the survey is completed, 391 ecological zones will be mapped out. To carry out the survey, 655 staff members were recruited. The feces and urine samples are microscopically examined by the Kato-Katz method and the sediment smears for helminth eggs respectively. For quality control, a minimum of 10% of the slides will be rechecked by the federal supervisors in each state and also 5% of the smears are validated again within one day by independent supervisors.

This nationwide mapping is expected to generate important epidemiological information and indicators about schistosomiasis and STHs that will be useful for monitoring and evaluating the control program. The mapping data will also be used for overviewing the status and policy formulation and updates to the control strategies. This paper, which describes a feasible and practical study protocol, is to be shared with the global health community, especially those who are planning to perform nationwide mapping of NTDs by feces or urine sampling.
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