Ethiopian Journal of Health Development

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Malnutrition and enteric parasitoses among under-five children in Aynalem Village, Tigray

Samson Taffesse Asfaw, Lakech Giotom


A cross sectional study was conducted in Aynalem Village, Tigray, in April 1997 on a total of 330 under-five children. Results from nutritional status assessment and stool examination for seven common enteric parasites are presented. The prevalence of stunting, wasting, and under-weight were 45.7%, 7.1%, and 43.1% respectively. The prevalence of low weight-for-age and stature-for-age were significantly associated with the age-group of children, (c2 =41.9, p<0.01 and c2 =47.3, p<0.01), respectively. The overall prevalence of infection (with one or more parasites) was 48.1% and it was linearly associated with age-group of children (c2 =18.1, p<0.01). Overall parasite prevalence ranged from the highest (16.3%), among 36-48 months old children to the lowest (1.4%) among the 6-12 months old children. The highest proportion of those children positive for one or more parasites harbored Entameba histolytica (18.3%) followed by Hymenolopis nana (17.3%), Giardia lamblia (7.7%) and Ascaris lumbricoides (5.8%). Fewer proportion 1.9%, 1.0%, and 1.0%, harbored Strongloides stercoralis, Schistosoma mansoni, and Entrobius vermicularis, respectively. There was no statistically meaningful association between age group specific prevalence of malnutrition and the prevalence of enteric infections.
The results from this study indicate that both malnutrition and enteric infections exist to a level of public health significance in the area probably interacting synergetically and with other socio-economic and dietary factors. Long and short term measures necessary to alleviate the problem are discussed.

(Ethiopian Journal of Health Development: 2000, 14(1): 67-76)
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