Asthma and allergies in schoolchildren of Maputo

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Abstract

Aim

The study aimed to determine prevalence and severity of asthma, rhinitis and eczema in Maputo, Mozambique.

Methods

The International Study of Asthma and Allergies (ISAAC) protocol was applied in 27 schools in urban, suburban and semi-rural areas.

Results

A total of 2630 completed questionnaires were obtained from students aged 13–14 years, and 2383 from schoolchildren aged 6–7 years. The prevalence of current asthma was 13.3% in the two groups, the prevalence of rhinoconjuctivitis and eczema was 23% and 10% in teenagers and 8.8% and 8.5% respectively in children 6–7 years old. Overall, 35% of the adolescents and 23.8% of children were found to have at least one atopic condition or asthma in the last year. In symptomatic adolescents, the conditions were: rhinoconjuctivitis (41.3%), asthma (20%) and eczema (12.4%). In symptomatic children, asthma was the principal condition (36.2%), followed by eczema (20.3%) and rhinoconjunctivitis (19.1%). In adolescents, asthma was more frequently associated with rhinoconjuctivitis (28%). About 4% of all surveyed children had three atopic conditions associated. In adolescents, past year rhinitis was more frequent and severe in the urban area. Hay fever was commoner in the semi-urban area. Eczema was significantly more recurrent in suburban and semi-rural area. Exercise-induced wheeze, nocturnal cough and ever asthma were more reported in children of suburban area.

Conclusion

Asthma and allergic diseases are important public health problems in Maputo and improvement in prevention and management plans are required.

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