Asymptomatic Intestinal Parasites in School Children at Ota, Ogun State
A total of 394 stool samples was examined from apparently healthy school children in 2 primary schools (public and private) within the age group 2-16 years at Ota, Ogun state, Nigeria between March and August, 2007 in order to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infection in these asymptomatic school children. One hundred and sixty-four (41.6%) of these pupils harboured various species of intestinal parasites, there was mixed infections in twenty one pupils which gave total intestinal parasites as 46.9%. Giardia lamblia (11.92%) and Entamoeba histolytica (10.15%) were found to be more prevalent, while the least prevalent organisms were Trichuris trichiuria (1.01%) and Strongyloides stercoralis (1.01%). The prevalence of asymptomatic intestinal parasites was significantly higher in children attending the public school (P = 0.0028; P < 0.05) than those attending the private school. There was no significant difference between the socio-economic status of the parents and the rate of infection of their children (P = 0.08; P > 0.05). This study thus advocates routine periodic screening even of the healthy pupils for intestinal parasitosis to minimize morbidity and mortality and improve infrastructure in our school especially the public ones.
Key Words: intestinal parasites, Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica, School, Nigeria