Prevalence of Allergic Rhinitis among Secondary School Students in Kinondoni District, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Background: An estimation of about 1.4 billion people are suffering from allergic rhinitis worldwide. Allergic rhinitis (AR) is a common debilitating disorder that can adversely affect the quality of life and the academic performance of school-age children and its prevalence has steadily increased during the last decades. Data on the prevalence of allergic rhinitis among secondary school students is scarce despite its reported impact on academic performance of students. The aim of this study was thus to determine the prevalence of allergic rhinitis and its clinical presentation among secondary school students in Kinondoni District which is one of the largest districts in Dar es Salaam Region. Methods: A community based, cross-sectional prospective study was conducted in selected secondary schools in Kinondoni district, Dar-es-salaam Region from August 2016 to January 2017 using random sampling technique. Data was collected using pre-tested questionnaires and analyzed using SPSS program. Results: A point prevalence rate of 34.7% was reported with female predominance and 15-16 age group predilections were found in this study. Sneezing (65.9%) was the commonest nasal symptom and hypertrophied inferior turbinate (61.8%) the commonest physical finding. The commonest aeroallergen was the house dust mite (77.3%) and the least was dog fur (5.9%). Conclusion: Allergic rhinitis affects a significant proportion of the adolescent population with symptoms which have a negative impact on the lifestyle of these participants. The common aeroallergens are found within our immediate surroundings e.g. house dust mite, which can be controlled if participants are educated and proper clean environmental control measures are instituted.