Annals of Medical and Health Sciences Research

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A Community Based Survey of the Burden of Ascaris lumbricoides in Enugu

IR Chijioke, GC Ilechukwu, GCA Ilechukwu, CI Okafor, IM Ekejindu, MKC Sridhar


Background: Intestinal helminthiasis is common in our environment and antihelminthic drugs are specie specific. Thus, need to identify and characterize the species cannot be overemphasized. Objective: To determine the prevalence of Ascaris lumbricoides in Enugu Metropolis. Methods: A cross-sectional survey of 361 subjects in Enugu metropolis was carried out in this study. A single stool sample was collected for examination from the subjects, using appropriately labelled clean specimen containers. The prevalence of Ascaris lumbricoides was determined using the kato-katz method. Data was obtained using questionnaires which were administered by the researchers to mothers and extended family members living in the same household. Results: Out of the 361 single stool samples collected, from the subjects (made up of 154 samples from mothers, 156 samples from children, and 51 samples from extended family members), 69 subjects (made up of 30 mothers, 27 children and 12 extended family members) were infected with Ascaris lumbricoides, giving an overall prevalence of 19.1%. Prevalence among the mothers, children and extended family members were 19.5%, 17.3% and 23.5% respectively. Conclusion: There is a high prevalence of intestinal Ascaris lumbricoides among subjects living in Enugu metropolis. Attention should be given by the government to periodically carry out mass deworming exercise among households involving mothers, children and extended family members and indeed the whole members of each household.

Key words: Ascaris lumbricoides, prevalence, Nigeria

AJOL African Journals Online