Studies on the prevalence and intensities of gastrointestinal helminths infections among post-primary school students in Osogbo Metropolis, southwesthern Nigeria
There is a deficit of published data on the prevalence and intensity of intestinal parasitic infections in Osogbo metropolis, although there exist some reports for few of the local government areas of Osun state. Post primary school students are at high risk of acquiring gastrointestinal parasitic infections in Osogbo metropolis. A total of one hundred and fifty fecal samples were examined microscopically from post primary school students aged 9 – 18. Direct microscopic examination, centrifugation floatation and sedimentation techniques were used to examine fecal samples while Kato-katz technique was used to determine the intensity of infection. Ascaris lumbricoides, Strongyloides stacoralis and Hookworm were the most common intestinal helminths recovered. A. lumbricoides formed the bulk of the infections with prevalence rate of 124 (91.9%) followed by S. stacoralis 8 (6.0%) and Hookworm, 3 (2.2%). Specific factors related to the environments that were examined included water source, toilet or latrine use and refuse disposal Multiple infection of two - three parasite combinations were common, A. lumbricoides – Hookworm combination being the most common. Analysis of the data on the basis of sex revealed a significant difference (P<0.05) in the overall incidence of infections between male (75.6%) and female (84.8%). The maximum infection was observed in younger age groups compared to adults (P<0.05). Infections were greater among households drinking water from stream followed by well water and those using pit/open field for toilets. This report recommends that good drinking water coupled with adequate toilet facility and deworming programs be integrated in private and public schools as well as promotion of healthier diets as most effective tools in controlling helminthes infection among school children.
Keywords: Prevalence, Intensity, Intestinal helminths, Post-primary students, Risk factors