To study impact of once weekly iron supplementation on praziquantel cure rate, Schistosoma haematobium
reinfection, and haematological parameters in pupils aged between 9 and 15 years of age in Nchelenge district, Zambia.
Pupils in the intervention group received once weekly dose of ferrous sulphate at 200mg while those in the control received once weekly vitamin C at 100mg for up to 9 months. Both study groups received a single dose of praziquantel at baseline.
Results: S. haematobium
reinfection intensity was significantly lower in boys in the intervention group than in boys in the control group at 6 months (P<0.001) and 9 months (P<0.001) of supplementation. Significantly lower S. haematobium
reinfection intensity was found in girls in the intervention group than in girls in the control group only at 6 months of supplementation (P=0.018). Boys in the intervention group were 42% (Adjusted Risk Ratio =0.58, 95% confidence interval 0.39, 0.86) less likely to be reinfected with S. haematobium
than in the control group at 6 months follow up.
Once weekly iron supplementation can decrease S. haematobium
reinfection after 6 months and should be incorporated into school based schistosomiasis control programs in highly endemic areas.