Prevalence of intestinal helminthes among school children and pregnant women in a low socio-economic area, Odenkume-Obowu, south east, Nigeria
Between September and October, 2010 a study was conducted to estimate the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections (IPI) in school children and pregnant women attending the primary health care centers in Odenkume Imo State, Nigeria. Stool samples were collected from 208 children and 62 pregnant women. The stool samples were examined for intestinal parasites by direct microscopy and formol ether concentration techniques. The results indicated that intestinal parasitic infections among school children and pregnant women in the study area were more of helminthes infections (70.7%) than water-borne infections (29.3%). Ascaris lumbricoides, hookworm, Trichuris trichiura and Entamoeba histolytica were the commonest parasites found in stool samples of both study subjects. Age-specific prevalence of the pupils had significant effect on infection (p<0.05). However, there was insignificant difference on infection rate by age of pregnant women (p>0.05). Multigravidae (83.3%) had significantly higher infection rate than primigravidae (52.0%). The burden of parasitic infestations among the school children together with the poor sanitary conditions in the schools should be regarded as an issues of public health priority.
Keywords: Intestinal parasites, helminthes, school children, pregnant women, Nigeria