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    To manage the deleterious effects of parasitic infections such as lymphatic filariasis (LF) and schistosomiasis among school children, most countries including Ghana make use of mass drug administration (MDA). Although MDA has proven effective in reducing worm burden, unfortunately adverse drug effects (ADEs) post-MDA are derailing the gains and also remain poorly monitored. The study assessed incidence and factors associated with ADEs among students following a school-based mass de-worming exercise involving administration of Praziquantel (PZQT) and Albendazole (ADZ) against LF and SCH at Komenda-Edina-Eguafo-Abirem (KEEA) Municipal. After fulfilling all ethical obligations, a total of 598 students aged 5-20 years who received PZQT or ADZ monotherapy or a combination of the two (PZQT + ADZ) as part of the mass de-worming exercise were recruited through quota and random sampling. Bodyweight and height of students were measured and body mass index (BMI) calculated. Students were orally interviewed to obtain information such as age, sex, intake of diet before taking drugs. Subsequently, students were monitored over 24 hours post-MDA for cases of ADEs. Descriptive statistics and logistic regression analysis using SPSS version 26 was used to describe data collected and to determine associations between incidence of ADEs and predictor variables. Out of the 598 students, 243 (40.64%) represented by 124 males (51.03%) and 119 females (48.97%) with mean (SD) age of 13.43 (2.74) years experienced one or more forms of ADE. In decreasing order, the detected ADEs included headache (64.6%), Abdominal pain (48.6%), fever (30.0%), diarrhea (21.4%) and itching (12.8%). Multivariable statistical analysis showed that age 5-9 years (OR: 2.01, p = 0.041) and underweight (OR: 2.02, p = 0.038) were associated with incidence of ADEs. Compared with students who received combination therapy, students who received ADZ only (OR: 0.05, p < 0.001) and PZQT only (OR: 0.26, p < 0.001) had low cases of ADEs. Gender and diet intake before MDA were not associated with ADE incidence. ADE incidence was common among students in the KEEA municipality. Age, underweight, and double dosing were associated with increase in ADE incidence, while gender and food intake were not associated with increase in ADE incidence. The Disease Control Unit of the Ghana Health Service should incorporate stringent ADE monitoring in post-MDA surveillance in the National MDA program in order to be able to detect, manage and report ADEs to inform planning for future MDA programs. Such initiatives will help not only in improving effectiveness of MDA programs but also identify high risk groups and exact strategies to reduce negative influence of ADE on MDA coverage and anthelminthic drug compliance.


    Wisdom Akrasi, Augustine Suurinobah Brah, Mainprice Akuoko Essuman, Viona Osei, Alex Boye. Adverse drug effects among students following mass de-worming exercise involving administration of Praziquantel and Albendazole in KEEA Municipality, Ghana. PLoS neglected tropical diseases. 2022 Sep;16(9):e0010680

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    PMID: 36094964

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