Effects on Packed Cell Volume and Parasitic Worm Load from Deworming Pupils of a Public School in Rivers State, Nigeria
AbstractBACKGROUND: Parasitic worms infect millions of school age children worldwide and this is even more evident in the tropics where basic personal general hygiene still remains a challenge. One of the consequences of parasitic worm infestation in children is anaemia which is objectively measured by estimating the packed cell volume. This study carried out through four months was to examine the effects, (on packed cell volume and parasitic worm load) of de-worming pupils of a primary school in Rivers State.
METHOD: This two-phase quasi-experimental intervention study had 218 pupils (i.e. study and control groups) selected by multi-stage sampling from a primary school. Their packed cell volumes were estimated with centrifuge hematocrit and stool examined for parasitic worms with saline wet prep microscopy. A dose of Albendazole was administered to the study group. The data presented in Microsoft Excel spread sheet, were then analysed using SPSS version 17, T-test and Chi Square respectively.
RESULTS: The prevalence of ova in the stool of the study group dropped significantly from the pre-intervention 53.4% to a post intervention 11.5% (P=0.00). Also, the mean packed cell volume in the study group increased from 32.2+3.3% to 33.1+3.0% (P=0.03). The values for the control remained essentially same pre- and post-intervention.
CONCLUSION: The de-worming intervention significantly reduced the parasitic worm load and improved the packed cell volume of the pupils. It is recommended that school age children be routinely dewormed as part of the School Health Programme.
KEY WORDS: Packed Cell Volume, Helminthes, Pupils, Deworming