Typhoid fever (TF) is an important communicable disease that is endemic to Tanzania, quite often complicated with malaria co-infection leading to diagnostic complications and significant mortality. Despite considerable control efforts, the disease continues to persist in Singida urban leading to significant morbidity and mortality. This paper retrospectively examines morbidity and mortality trend of typhoid infection for the past five years in Singida urban. By using questionnaire, Focus Group Discussion (FGD) and direct observational methods, the authors report interview results of 120 respondents from the study community, regarding their awareness of TF and its control methods. Results showed that, the TF prevalence records revealed a fluctuating trend with annual incidence rate of 580 – 1,400/100,000 persons, and an overall increase from 771 – 942 cases/100,000 persons (p ≤ 0.0001) between 2003 and 2007. While 88% of the respondents were aware of TF disease, 53% were unaware of its control methods. The study also revealed an acute shortage of diagnostic laboratory services which indicated that, 75% of health facilities had no such services. In adequate knowledge about personal hygiene, scarcity or lack of access to safe water, improper drainage systems and problems of unsanitary toilets in Singida urban were some of the obstacles to effective TF control. Effective TF control measures in the study district, as in other areas in the tropics, requires integration of intensive health education as a public health tool, provision and access to safe water supply and adequate strengthening of health systems.
Key words: Typhoid fever, prevalence, Singida urban, control measures.
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