Prevalence of intestinal helminth infections among primary school children in Alimosho Local Government Area, Lagos, Nigeria
Background: Intestinal parasites are among the most common infection of school age-children worldwide and remain a major cause of morbidity and mortality among children in developing countries. Thus the prevalence and risk factors of intestinal helminth infections was investigated among children in four primary schools in Alimosho Local Government Area of Lagos, Nigeria.
Methodology: A descriptive cross sectional study of one hundred and twenty children, selected using a multistage sampling method. Fecal samples were collected from the pupils and examined microscopically using direct smear and Formol- ether concentration technique. Each child was interviewed using a structured questionnaire. Data was analysed with Epi Info 6.
Results: Their ages ranged from 5-19 years and most 63 (52.5%) were female. Thirteen (11%) of the samples were found positive. The two major intestinal helminths identified were Ascaris lumbricoides (76.9%) and Hookworm (15.4%) with a mixed infection of both accounting for 7.7% of the samples. Females (69.2%) were more infected. The socioeconomic status (lower education and having a skilled job)of the parents, female gender, being in a higher class, use of pit latrines and use of well water were found to contribute to the prevalence of intestinal helminth infection, although showed no statistical significant association with the presence of parasites in their stool samples (P > 0.05).
Conclusion: There is need to improve sanitation and peoples' living conditions, provide clean water, health education, chemotherapy and encourage good hygiene and healthy habits.
Keywords: Prevalence, Helminths, School Children, Lagos, Nigeria