News / Health

Study: Schistosomiasis Treatment Better with Snack

FILE - Biopholaria Glabrata snails, the intermidiate hosts of the Schistosoma mansoni worms, University of Georgia Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, Athens, Ga.
FILE - Biopholaria Glabrata snails, the intermidiate hosts of the Schistosoma mansoni worms, University of Georgia Center for Tropical and Emerging Global Diseases, Athens, Ga.
VOA News
Treatment for the parasitic illness schistosomiasis is more effective if children have a snack before receiving the drug praziquantel.

That's the finding of a study conducted in Uganda's Jinja district by researchers from Makerere University in Kampala. They worked with students at 12 primary schools. In addition to an educational message about the parasite, children at some of the schools were given donuts and mango juice prior to treatment.

Four weeks later, stool samples were collected from a random sample of 1,284 youngsters to test for the presence of schistosome eggs. Researchers report in the journal PLOS Medicine that children who ate something before getting the medicine had half as many eggs in their stool as those at non-snack schools.

Because food improved uptake of the drug, researchers also found a lower intensity of infection with the parasite S. mansoni in those who snacked. In addition, the youngsters who ate reported fewer side effects from the drug.

Experts say schistosomiasis is second only to malaria as the most devastating parasitic illness. It primarily affects the urinary tract and intestines. Chronic infection can lead to kidney disease, bladder cancer or infertility.

According to the World Health Organization, some 250 million people received preventive treatment with praziquantel in 2012 and 42 million were treated for infection. Ninety percent of cases occur in sub-Saharan Africa, although clusters of infection are seen in tropical and sub-tropical regions in Asia and the Middle East. Because children are most vulnerable to infection, the WHO recommends mass treatment campaigns of school children with praziquantel.

The parasitic worm is carried by freshwater snails and the disease is often contracted through bathing or swimming. The worms burrow into the tissues of internal organs after gaining access through the skin.

You May Like

UN Ambassador Power Highlights Plight of Women Prisoners

She launches the 'Free the 20' campaign, aimed at profiling women being deprived of their freedom around the world More

Satellite Launch Sparks Spectacular Light Show

A slight delay in a satellite launch lit up the Florida sky early this morning More

Fleeing IS Killings in Syria, Family Reaches Bavaria

Exhausted, scared and under-nourished, Khalil and Maha's tale mirrors those of thousands of refugees from war-torn countries who have left their homes in the hopes of finding a better life More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOAi
X
August 31, 2015 2:17 AM
Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video Nobel Prize Winner Malala Talks to VOA

Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai met with VOA's Deewa service in Washington Sunday to talk about women’s rights and unveil a trailer for her new documentary. VOA's Katherine Gypson has more.
Video

Video War, Drought Threaten Iraq's Marshlands

Iraq's southern wetlands are in crisis. These areas are the spawning ground for Gulf fisheries, a resting place for migrating wildfowl, and source of livelihood for fishermen and herders. Faith Lapidus has more.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Rebuilding New Orleans' Music Scene

Ten years after Hurricane Katrina inundated New Orleans, threatening to wash away its vibrant musical heritage along with its neighborhoods, the beat goes on. As Bronwyn Benito and Faith Lapidus report, a Musicians' Village is preserving the city's unique sound.
Video

Video In Russia, Auto Industry in Tailspin

Industry insiders say country relies too heavily on imports as inflation cuts too many consumers out of the market. Daniel Schearf has more from Moscow.
Video

Video Scientist Calls Use of Fetal Tissue in Medical Research Essential

An anti-abortion group responsible for secret recordings of workers at a women's health care organization claims the workers shown are offering baby parts for sale, a charge the organization strongly denies. While the selling of fetal tissue is against the law in the United States, abortion and the use of donated fetal tissue for medical research are both legal. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.

VOA Blogs