Intestinal Parasitic Infections in Primary School Children in Rural Communities in Edo State, Nigeria
Background: Intestinal parasitic infections are a major public health problem in developing countries where majority of the affected persons are children. This study is aimed at determining the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections and the effect of socio-demography in some rural primary schools in Ovia Northeast Local Government Area (LGA), Edo State, Nigeria.
Materials and Methods: A total of 675 school children from rural settings were recruited. The faecal samples were processed using standard technique.
Results: A total of 96 (14.2%) out of the 675 children had asymptomatic intestinal parasitic infection. Male gender and walking barefooted were significantly associated with asymptomatic intestinal parasitic infection (P<0.0001). Children within the ages of 14 – 16 years (P=0.0008), defaecate in nearby bushes (P=0.042), that use well/rain water (P<0.0001), don’t wash their hands (P<0.0001) and children whose fathers were bricklayers (P<0.0001) have higher prevalence of asymptomatic intestinal parasitic infections. The parasites recovered were E. histolytica, A. lumbricoides, T. trichiura, hookworm and Taenia species. A. lumbricoides had the highest prevalence (69.2%). A. lumbricoides was the most prevalent parasitic agent recovered in all age groups and the only parasitic agent that was significantly associated with gender, particularly the male gender.
Conclusion: Effective treatment of infected school children as well as improved sanitary habits for prevention of soil pollution and contamination is advocated.
Keywords: Intestinal parasites, primary school children Running title: Intestinal parasites in Primary School children