Aspects of the epidemiology of intestinal parasitosis (IP) in children: Knowledge, practices and perceptions of mothers
Background: Intestinal parasitoses (IP) have been demonstrated to pose a major public health problem in the tropics. It is hypothesized that children are continually exposed to re- infection despite interventions. We conducted this hospital-based study to investigate knowledge, practices and perceptions among mothers of children seen at the hospital.
Method: The study focused on knowledge, practices and perceptions of mothers concerning intestinal parasitoses in children. Questionnaires, which were interviewer administered, were used to generate qualitative data. Stool samples were collected from the study participants into labelled bottles for examination.
Results: Majority of mothers belonging to the lower classes did not have access to good drinking water as demonstrated by 39%, 32% in classes III and II respectively while no mother in class V got water from reliable sources:
The low level of knowledge about IP was demonstrated by the claim that it was inevitable with the following 68. 9% , 56.5%, 44.0% of mothers in social classes V, IV and III respectively. Infection rates increased with lowering social status. More males than females were infected but the difference was not significant (P> 0.05). Peak infection was among children aged between 3 + and 4 years.
Conclusion: The low level of knowledge, practices and perceptions of mothers concerning IP is a major cause for worry. Urgent consideration should therefore be given in order to periodically treat infected children, enlighted mothers about mode of transmission of IP and also to improve sanitation in deprived areas so as to reduce the rate of transmission.
Keywords: Intestinal Parasitoses, (IP); Epidemiology; children;Benin City
Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice Vol. 9 (2) 2006: pp.109-113