Knowledge based assessment of intestinal parasitic Infections among students attending boarding schools in Ebonyi state, Nigeria
There is an apparent lack of information on the risk and clinical symptoms of Intestinal Parasitic Infections (IPIs) among students attending boarding secondary schools in Ebonyi State, Nigeria. This questionnaire-based survey attempts to assess some behavioural habits, possible risk factor(s) as well as clinical symptoms experienced by these students. 256 questionnaires were filled by (52.7% males and 47.3% females) from four boarding schools between June and July 2015. Results showed that on handwashing practice after defecation, while there was much more students who washed their hands with soap and water (79.7%) than with water only (10.2%), only a few do not wash their hands (2.7%). Also, students wash (86.3%), do not wash (1.2%) or sometimes wash (11.3%) their hands before meals. There were students who do (16.4%), do not (53.5%) or sometimes do (22.3%) bite off on their fingernails using their teeth. Records were taken of those who walk (11.3%), do not walk (68.0%) or sometimes walk (18.0%) on bare feet. A greater number of students use water cisterns (41.0%) than pit toilets (36.7%), and pit toilets (36.7%) than bushes (19.5%). Borehole constituted the most ready source of drinking water for students (75.8%). Parents are predominantly farmers, traders, teachers and civil servants. Clinical symptoms were more occasional than frequent. The hygiene behavioural practices are commendable. Thus there is possibly a low risk of IPIs among these students. However, promotion of healthy hygienic practices should be further encouraged.
Keywords: Intestinal parasitic infections, Risk, Clinical symptoms, Boarding schools, Ebonyi State