Prevalence of intestinal parasites among school children in a rural area close to the southeast of Lake Langano, Ethiopia

  • Mengistu Legesse
  • Berhanu Erko


Background: Epidemiological information on the prevalence of various intestinal parasitic infections in different regions/localities is a prerequisite to develop appropriate control strategies.
Objective: The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections in schoolchildren found in a rural area close to the southeast of Lake Langano.
Methods: In April 2003, fresh stool samples were collected from 259 students enrolled in two primary schools located in southeast of Lake Langano. The samples were processed using both Kato and formol-ether concentration methods and then microscopically examined for intestinal parasitic infections. A finger prick blood sample was also collected and haematocrit determined for each individual.
Results: Of the 259 students surveyed for intestinal parasites, 217(83.8%) had one or more parasites. Prevalence of hookworm was the highest (60.2%), followed by Schistosoma mansoni (21.2%), Trichuris trichuria (14.7%), Taenia spp. (13.9%), Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (12.7%), Ascaris lumbricoides (6.2%), Giardia duodenalis (6.2%) and Strongyloides stercoralis (5.8%), in that order. An association was not found between hookworm infection and low haematocrit value of the study subjects.
Conclusion: The occurrence of various intestinal parasitic infections and high prevalence of hookworm infection among schoolchildren in southeast of Lake Langano calls for institution of intervention measures. [Ethiop.J.Health Dev. 2004;18(2)116-120]

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