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A Meta-analysis of asthma and wheeze prevalence among preschool and school-aged children in Africa.
  • R Mudau Rodney,
  • J Shirinde Joyce,
  • K Voyi Kuku
R Mudau Rodney
University of Pretoria Faculty of Health Sciences

Corresponding Author:[email protected]

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J Shirinde Joyce
University of Pretoria School of Health Systems and Public Health
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K Voyi Kuku
University of Pretoria School of Health Systems and Public Health
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Background: Asthma and wheezing are significant health concerns for children in Africa. There is a dearth of prior research examining the occurrence of asthma and wheezing in both preschool and school-aged children within the African environment. Therefore, this meta-analysis aimed to estimate the prevalence of asthma and wheezing in African infants from zero months to children eight years of age. Methods: An electronic search was conducted in July 2023 in Scopus, Web of Science, PubMed, MEDLINE, CINAHL, and Academic Search Complete for studies published from January 2012 to July 2023 using the following subject-specific terms: 1. “Risk factors” OR “Contributing factors” OR “Predisposing factors” OR “Predictor” OR “Cause” OR “Prevalence” OR “Trends” 2. “Asthma” OR “Wheeze” OR “Wheezing” OR “Asthma symptoms”, 3. “Preschool” OR “early childhood” OR “kindergarten” OR “0 to 8 years” OR “School children”, 4. Africa/ or, 5. limit to (English language and year=“2012 -Current” and children). STATA 17 software and a fixed effects model were utilized. Heterogeneity was assessed using I2. Results: The study revealed a prevalence of asthma in preschool and school-aged children of 4.41%, with no heterogeneity observed ( I2 <0). Wheezing in the past prevalence rate was 22.91%, also without heterogeneity ( I2 <0), with no significant differences observed among the studies. This indicates a lack of heterogeneity in studies for asthma and wheezing prevalence rates. Conclusions: Asthma and wheezing are prevalent among African preschool and school-aged children, highlighting the need for comprehensive and localized research to address this public health issue.
17 Feb 2024Submitted to Public Health Challenges
28 Feb 2024Reviewer(s) Assigned
21 Mar 2024Review(s) Completed, Editorial Evaluation Pending
06 Apr 2024Editorial Decision: Revise Major
30 Apr 20241st Revision Received