Worm Infestation And Anaemia Among Pre-school Children Of Peasant Farmers In Calabar, Nigeria.
Background: Worm infection and anaemia are common childhood conditions in Nigeria. We assessed the status of helminthiasis and associated anaemia among pre school children of peasant farmers aged 1-5 years living in a rubber plantation near Calabar, Nigeria. Design: Cross sectional. Method: Three hundred and fifty children were selected by multi-stage cluster sampling technique. Freshly passed stool was examined using Kato-Katz method while anaemia was estimated using haematocrit technique. Result: Of the 350 children, 174 (49.7%) had intestinal helminths: Ascaris lumbricoides 64.4%,
hookworms 10.9% and Trichuris trichuria 1.1%. There were 41(23.6%) children with polyparasitism, 33 of them were due to Ascaris lumbricoides and hookworms. The worm load was generally light in intensity with egg per gram of stool ranging from 24-60,960. Males (28.9%) were infected more than females (20.8%). The frequency of infection increases with age. The prevalence of anaemia among the entire study population and in those infected with worms was 56.6% and 56.9% respectively. With polyparasitism there was a relative increase in the frequency of anaemia females > males. Conclusion: Worm infections and anaemia are common in our children. A comprehensive control
strategy involving good sanitation, sinking of bore hole for clean water supply and regular deworming exercises are recommended.
Nigerian Journal of Clinical Practice Vol. 11 (3) 2008: pp. 220-224