{Epidemiology of tungiasis in sub-saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis}

Obebe, OO, Aluko OO.  2020.  {Epidemiology of tungiasis in sub-saharan Africa: a systematic review and meta-analysis}. Pathogens and Global Health. 114:360–369., Number 7: Taylor & Francis


Tungiasis is a public health disease in many rural and urban slums in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), primarily affecting children and the elderly. Yet, this disease has received little attention in many sub-Saharan African countries. We conducted a systematic review and meta-analysis to estimate the pooled prevalence of tungiasis and associated risk factors in SSA. We searched AJOL, Google Scholar, Web of Science, and PubMed for population-based studies that reported the prevalence of tungiasis and risk factors in SSA between January 1980 and July 2020. The study employed a random-effects model and heterogeneity to estimate the pooled prevalence and evaluate the Cochran's Q-test respectively across studies that met the inclusion criteria. We screened 104 articles and retrieved 42 full-text articles to evaluate for inclusion in the review. Twenty-seven studies involving 16,303 individuals in seven SSA countries were analyzed. The pooled prevalence of tungiasis in SSA was 33.4% (95% CI: 27.6–39.8), while tungiasis prevalence was 46.5%, 44.9%, 42.0%, 37.2%, 28.1%, 22.7% and 20.1% for Ethiopia, Cameroon, Tanzania, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, and Uganda, respectively. The risk of tungiasis was associated with gender, participants' age groups (4–15 years and ≥60 years), earthen floor, non-regular use of footwear, contact with animals, and residence in rural areas. An integrated approach addressing significant factors in tungiasis prevalence in SSA needs to be designed and implemented by a trans-disciplinary composition of community leaders, health professionals, non-governmental institutions, and policymakers.