Helminth Contamination of Selected Vegetables Irrigated with Water from River Kaduna, Kaduna, Nigeria
Low growing crops watered from rivers laden waste from man, animal, and industries are usually rich in micro-organisms which may persist during the growing season and serve as principal route for the transmission of many
diseases. Survey of Helminth parasites ova on selected vegetables irrigated with water from River Kaduna was carried out in November 2009-April 2010 (dry season). Six different vegetables (spinach, lettuce, cabbage, tomatoes, garden egg, and carrots) were obtained directly from the farmers on five irrigated farms along the banks of River Kaduna. Each vegetable was washed in distilled water and then the sedimentation and zinc sulphate floatation methods were used. Of the 960 vegetable samples examined, Ascaris lumbricoides was observed in 109 (32.4%). Others were Strongyloides stercoralis, Trichuris trichiura and Ancyclostoma duodenale at the rate of 22.6%, 12.8% and 16.4% respectively. Bakin Ruwa (Rigasa) had the highest incidence rate (25.0%) while Rafin Guzza had the least (14.6%). The prevalence of helminth parasites was significantly higher in leafy vegetables especially those with broad petiole than in smooth surfaced vegetables (p<0.05). Since the provision of latrines alone may
not control parasitic infection if the concentrated human and animal excreta is used as fertilizer, attention should be paid to education, enlightenment campaigns and efficient waste management and disposal. There should be proper handling and washing of our food especially those eaten raw or partially cooked.
Keywords: Helminth, Irrigation, Vegetables, Kaduna.