Intestinal parasitosis among Kara and Kwego semipastoralist tribes in lower Omo Valley, Southwestern Ethiopia

  • T Teklehaymanot


Background: Survey of intestinal parasites provides information about the burden of parasites in a community and helps in making decisions for intervention. Nevertheless, such information on the communities living in the Lower Omo Valley is scanty.
Objective: To study the prevalence of intestinal parasitosis among semi-pastoralist tribes in Lower Omo Valley, Southwestern Ethiopia.
Methods: A cross-sectional parasitological survey was conducted on Kara and Kwego semi-pastoralist tribes between January and March 2006. Participants in the study were selected randomly from list of huts and makeshift huts using random numbers. Stool specimens were examined microscopically for the presence of parasite eggs or larvae/cysts
using formol-ether concentration method.
Results: Nine intestinal parasites were identified: Entamoeba coli,  Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, Giardia lamblia, Iodamoeba buetschlii, Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, Hookworms, Strongyloides stercoralis and Schistosoma mansoni. The difference in the rates of intestinal parasitic infection between Kara and Kwego is slightly
significant (p = 0.04), and between females and males within Kara as well within Kwego was not significant (p > 0.05). Only one individual was positive for S. mansoni in each tribe. A single parasitic infection was more prevalent than multiple parasitic infections.
Conclusion: Controlling measures including health education are recommended to reduce morbidity and transmission of intestinal parasitic infection among these tribes where health services are at best inadequate for most and entirely absent.

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eISSN: 1021-6790