Intestinal helminth infections among the current residents of the future Finchaa Sugar plantation area, Western Ethiopia

  • Hailu Birrie
  • Girmay Medhin
  • Berhanu Erko
  • Gedlu Beshah
  • Teferi Gemetchu



In a cross-sectional survey of helminth infections made in February 1995 in the future Finchaa Sugar Project area, Finchaa Valley, Western Ethiopia, Ascaris lumbricoides and hookworms were found to be the most prevalent reaching, on average, 28% and 20%, respectively, among the populations living in seven camps. Schistosoma mansoni also reached 22% and 30% in two of the camps. Other parasites which were present at lower prevalences were Trichuris trichiura, Taenia saginata, Entrobius vermicularis, Fasciola hepatica, and Hymenolepis nana. The geometric mean egg counts per gram of faeces (epg) of A. lumbricoides, S. mansoni, hookworms and T. trichiura were 977, 141, 126 and 65 respectively. Both prevalence and intensity of infection of the last four parasites were highest among those below 15 years of age except hookworm which appeared to be more prevalent among the teenagers. All ages combined, only A. lumbricoides was more prevalent among the females (P<0.05). The frequency distribution of A. lumbricoides, S. mansoni, and hookworm egg counts showed that the parasites are highly over-dispersed with the majority of the sample population producing none or few eggs, and a small portion producing relatively high numbers of eggs. Also, the ratios of variance: arithmetic mean egg counts were large for the young age groups indicating a high degree of aggregation of the parasites in the community and adding more evidence to the generally held view about the frequency distribution of helminth parasites in the human population. The possibility of increased transmission of the parasites due to irrigation development and their potential adverse effects on the population is discussed and possible control measures suggested.[Ethiop. J. Health Dev. 1997;11(3):219-228]


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