article 10. 4
 

 

 

Height as a Surrogate for Bodyweight for Estimating the Dosage of Praziquantel and Artesunate in the Treatment of Urinary Schistosomiasis in School-Age Children.

 

 

P.  C.   Inyang-Etoh,

Department of Medical Laboratory Science

Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences

University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.

 

 G.  C.   Ejezie

Department of Medical Laboratory Science

Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences

University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.

 

 M.  F.   Useh

Department of Medical Laboratory Science

Faculty of Allied Medical Sciences

University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.

 

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Abstract

 

Abstract: World Health Organization recommends mass treatment of all school children in areas where the prevalence of schistosomiasis is greater than 50%. Praziquantel and artesunate are reported to display broad-spectrum antischistosomal activities. Since the susceptibilities of the different stages of schistosomes to the two drugs are distinctively different, it has been established that the use of these two drugs in combination will be beneficial for the treatment of urinary schistosomiasis. Dosage is determined by weight, which can be difficult to determine in field conditions.  The use of calibrated height meter with height-based dosage calibration will make the work less cumbersome in field settings. Data on age, weight, and height from 264 school children who were screened and found to be infected with Schistosoma haematobium, diagnosed by the presence of the ova in their urine, were used to predict an alternative to bodyweight and thus the dosage of praziquantel and artesunate required to treat this disease. A very strong positive correlation (r = 0.8) was obtained for the height of treated children measured against weight while a moderately positive correlation coefficient (r = 0.6) was obtained for weight against age measurements, depicting that height can be used in lieu of weight for correct dose determination. A height meter calibrated with the equivalent number of tablets of praziquantel and artesunate could thus be used as a simple measurement to determine the dosage of praziquantel and artesunate needed to treat children in the field. This calibrated height will expedite treating large population of children in mass treatment campaigns in an endemic community.

 

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