Risk factors associated with acquiring superficial fungal infections in school children in South Western Nigeria: a comparative study
Introduction: Superficial fungal infections (SFI) are caused mainly by dermatophytes and yeasts. SFI is of major public health concern and is a common cause of skin disease among school children.
Objectives: The aim of this study was to identify the risk factors associated with acquiring superficial fungal infections in school children in Ile-Ife, South West Nigeria as this will assist in instituting appropriate interventions.
Methods: A total of 560 children; 280 with superficial fungal infections as subjects and 280 age and sex matched school children as controls were recruited through multistage sampling method from 10 primary schools (private and public owned) in Ile-Ife, Nigeria.
Discussion: Pupils were aged 5-16 years with a mean age of 9.42±2.00. Risk factors documented in this study included poor living conditions, use of barbers’ clippers, low socio-economic status, poor hygiene, attendance of public schools and not living with both parents. The last four factors remained significant on binary logistic regression.
Conclusion: The study shows that the risk for acquiring superficial fungal infections remains high in school children and in communities with low socio-economic positions.
Keywords: Risk factors, school children, skin, superficial fungal infections