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Soil transmitted helminths infections, malnutrition and anaemia among primary school children in northern Tanzania

DZ Munisi, CM Kihamia, C Jones, PL Msoffe

Abstract


Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) are a major public health problem in many developing countries. Establishment of prevalence and intensity of infections is important in designing, implementating and evaluating control programs. This study aimed at determining the prevalence and intensity of STH infections, malnutrition and anaemia among primary school children in Same district. A descriptive cross-sectional study was carried out on 579 school children. Kato-katz technique was used to determine status and intensity of STH infection. Weight and height were determined using  weighing The prevalence of STH was 0.9%. The prevalence of stunting was 42.3%, male were more stunted than female at 48.6% and 37.8%  respectively (P=0.015). Higher rates of stunting were observed in the upland plateau zone (48.4%) than in the other zones (P=0.029). The prevalence of thinness was 11.7%. Prevalence of thinness was highest in the lowlands zone (15.8%) (P=0.013). The prevalence of anaemia was 3.1%. The prevalence of STH was very low, but malnutrition was observed to be a problem in the district with nearly half of the children being stunted.

KEYWORDS: Soil-transmitted helminths, Malnutrition, Anaemia, School children, Same district.




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