Baseline health conditions in selected communities of northern Sierra Leone as revealed by the health impact assessment of a biofuel project
Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, Swiss Tropical and Public Health Institute, P.O. Box, Basel, Switzerland; University of Basel, Petersplatz 1, Basel, Switzerland; SHAPE Consulting Ltd, Pretoria, South Africa; Northern Polytechnic, P.O. Box 32, Makeni, Sierra Leone; Helen Keller International, P.O. Box 369, Freetown, Sierra Leone
Background: As biofuel projects may be associated with positive and negative effects on people's health and wellbeing, a health impact assessment was performed for the Addax Bioenergy Sierra Leone (ABSL) project. We present data from the baseline health survey, which will provide a point of departure for future monitoring and evaluation activities. Methods: In December 2010, a cross-sectional survey was carried out in eight potentially affected communities. A broad set of clinical and parasitological indicators were assessed using standardised, quality-controlled procedures, including anthropometry and prevalence of anaemia, Plasmodium falciparum and helminth infections. Results: Complete datasets were obtained from 1221 individuals of 194 households and eight schools. Of children aged <5 years (n=586), 41.8% were stunted, 23.2% were underweight and 4.8% were wasted. Very high prevalences of anaemia and P. falciparum were found in children aged 6-59 months (n=571; 86.1% and 74.0%, respectively). Overall, 73.7% of women of reproductive age (n=395) were anaemic. In school-aged children (n=240), 27.9% had light- to moderate-intensity hookworm infections, whereas Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and Schistosoma mansoni were rare (<3% each). Conclusions: The detailed description of the baseline health conditions, in combination with future health surveys, will deepen the understanding of how a biofuel project impacts on community health in a rural setting in sub-Saharan Africa. © The Author 2014.
albendazole; amodiaquine; artemether; praziquantel; biofuel; adolescent; adult; anemia; anthropometry; Article; Ascaris lumbricoides; child; cross-sectional study; female; health impact assessment; health survey; helminthiasis; hookworm infection; human; major clinical study; malaria falciparum; male; Plasmodium falciparum; prevalence; public health; Schistosoma mansoni; schistosomiasis; Sierra Leone; Trichuris trichiura; underweight; anemia; animal; ascariasis; Child Nutrition Disorders; health impact assessment; health status; infant; Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic; Malaria, Falciparum; malnutrition; middle aged; nutritional status; preschool child; procedures; regression analysis; rural population; schistosomiasis mansoni; statistics and numerical data; young adult; Adolescent; Adult; Anemia; Animals; Ascariasis; Biofuels; Child; Child Nutrition Disorders; Child, Preschool; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Health Impact Assessment; Health Status; Humans; Infant; Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic; Malaria, Falciparum; Male; Malnutrition; Middle Aged; Nutritional Status; Regression Analysis; Rural Population; Schistosomiasis mansoni; Sierra Leone; Young Adult