What is it about?

Schoolchildren in Ethiopia are vulnerable to various health problems. Scabies, tungiasis, and tinea are common skin diseases among schoolchildren in Ethiopia. These skin problems are strongly associated with poverty. Although some school health programs include programs to address scabies, tungiasis, and fungal infections, including mandatory periodic screenings. However, most of these programs are non-functional. There are few compiled reports of such health conditions. No previous study used a Bayesian model, which could provide further evidence of these health conditions. A Bayesian model could be more generalizable (because it uses prior information). This study thus aimed to assess the occurrence and risk factors of three parasitic skin diseases (scabies, tungiasis, and tinea) and their risk factors among rural schoolchildren in southern Ethiopia using both a frequentist and Bayesian approach.

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Why is it important?

There was wide variation in skin problems (Scabies, tungiasis, and tinea infection) across classrooms suggesting the presence of common risk factors in these locations. These skin conditions are neglected health conditions and are unfortunately associated with most hygiene-related factors and poverty, as we showed in our study. The wide variation in skin problems across classrooms suggests that there are common risk factors in these locations and that transmission needs to be reduced by downsizing classrooms. Consequently, this research provides direction to policymakers about how to address neglected skin conditions and improve schoolchildren's health.


The article provides a lot of evidence in favor of improving schoolchildren's health, which is, in my opinion, essential. This study concentrated on students from rural areas who attended schools in a country with poor and disjointed school health services. Writing this piece with a renowned professor was a real pleasure.

Hiwot Hailu Amare
Dilla University

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Risk factors for scabies, tungiasis, and tinea infections among schoolchildren in southern Ethiopia: A cross-sectional Bayesian multilevel model, PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases, October 2021, PLOS,
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pntd.0009816.
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