Prevalence of geohelminth in soil and primary school children in Panda Development Area, Karu Local Government Area, Nasarawa State, Nigeria
A study of geohelminthes infections among primary school children aged 8 to 13 years was conducted in four selected primary schools in Panda Development Area, Karu LGA, Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Out of four hundred and eighty (480) soil samples collected from the four schools, 314 (82.63) were found to be positive for eggs of four species of geohelminthes. The geohelminthes eggs/larvae encountered during the study include; Ascaris lumbricoides with 128 (26.67%), hookworm 84 (17.50%), Strongyloides stercoralis 63 (13.13%), and Trichuris trichiura 39 (8.13%).The highest prevalence of geohelminth eggs in soil samples was recorded in Panda Primary School 100 (83.33%), followed by Gitata Primary School with 97 (80.83%), while the least prevalence rate was recorded in Tattara Primary School with infection rate of 39 (32.50%). There was a significant difference in the distribution of geohelminthes in the study-areas (p<0.05).However, out of the total of 480 stool samples analyzed, 260 (54.17%) obtained from males and 220 (45.83%) from females, 322 of the children were positive for one or more helminthes infections. The overall prevalence recorded was 67.08%. The study revealed the presence of only four geohelminthes in the infected stool samples analyzed; these include A. lumbricoides 127 (26.46%), Hookworm 108 (22.50), S. stercoralis 46 (9.58%) and T. trichiura 41 (8.54%). With respect to age-group, children under 5-7 years had the highest rate of infection with 149 (78.42%), while the least infection rate was recorded among 11-13 age-group with 66 (55.0%). Males had the highest infection rate of 167 (64.33%) while 155 (70.45) was recorded in females (p>0.05).The study concludes that provision of modern toilet facilities, school based health programme and regular early deworming of pupils will go a long way in reducing infection.
Keywords: geohelminthes infection, primary school, parasites, children, Panda.