Spatial distribution of helminth infections in Nigeria (2005-2015) and the need for attitudinal and behavioural changes in the water, sanitation and hygiene interventions

  • O.T. Taiwo
  • S.O. Sam-Wobo
  • A.M. Taiwo
Keywords: spatial, prevalence, helminthes, water, hygiene, sanitation, Nigeria.

Abstract

This study critically reviewed the spatial distributions of helminth infections in Nigeria within the last decade (2005-2015) and the need for urgent interventions in order to protect the susceptible populations against its morbidity and mortality. This study revealed that prevalence of intestinal helminth in the country has not declined since the1970s. Ascaris lumbricoides was the most prevalent helminth in the  Southwestern (21%) and South-southern (13%) parts of Nigeria. Hookworm was the most prevalent helminth infection in the Southeastern (19%) while multiple  infections were highly prevalent in Northern Nigeria (25% in North-central and 19% in the Northeast and Northwest, respectively). Cases of Taenia sp and Schistosoma mansoni infections were high in the Northeast and Northwest of Nigeria (8% and 6%, respectively). Nigeria has benefited from the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene (WASH) programme for over thirty years in the aspects of enhanced capacity building for applying personal hygiene and sanitation, improved water sources and provision of sanitation facilities and the National Emergency Group for coordination of emergency preparedness and response for WASH-related diseases. Despite the WASH interventions, prevalence of helminth infections in Nigeria is still very high and alarming. The factors identified for the high prevalence include socio-economic status, culture and ignorance; attitudes and behaviours toward hygiene and sanitation are also critical.

Keywords: spatial, prevalence, helminthes, water, hygiene, sanitation, Nigeria.



Published
2017-05-16
Section
Articles

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eISSN: 0794-4896