EFFICACY OF ARTESUNATE IN THE TREATMENT OF URINARY SCHISTOSOMIASIS AT UMUIKWU- ANAM COMMUNITY IN ANAMBRA WEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF ANAMBRA STATE, SOUTHEASTERN NIGERIA.
A study on the efficacy of artesunate in the treatment of urinary schistosomiasis at Umuikwu- Anam community, Anambra West Local Government area was carried out between November 2008 and June 2009. Urine samples from 471 primary school children were examined for ova of Schistosoma haematobium . Using filtration method, S. haematobium ova was recorded in the urine samples of 72(15.3%) pupils. The prevalence of 34.4% and 28.2% were recorded in two primary schools with an overall egg output of 7.63 eggs/10mls urine (geometric mean). The prevalence was significantly higher in the males (18.2%) than in the females (11.3%) and among the 11-13 years age group (25.6%; p<0.05). The intensity was also significantly higher among the males (48) and 5-10 years age group (39). Infected pupils who reported for treatment were divided into three groups ;oral doses of praziquantel (40mg/kg-single dose), artesunate (4mg/kg/day) once a day for 3 days and a combination of praziquantel and artesunate respectively. When the treated children were examined after 2weeks, praziquantel had the highest egg reduction rate of 92.63%, combined therapy of artesunate and praziquantel had egg reduction rate of 90.22% while artesunate had a 72.86% egg reduction rate. There was significant difference in the treatment regimen and all the treatments were significantly effective (P<0.50). All the treatment regimen were well tolerated.