Profile of intestinal parasites among nomadic Fulani in Kwara State, Nigeria
Parasitic infections are endemic worldwide and have been described as constituting the greatest single cause of illness and disease especially in the tropics. Fulani herdsmen belong to a tribe that lives a secluded life style with little information on their intestinal parasitic infections status. This study aimed at assessing the burden of intestinal parasites and risk factors associated with intestinal parasites transmission among Fulani herdsmen in Kwara State. Stool samples were collected from patients that attended three primary healthcare facilities in Ifelodun Local Government Area and one hospital in Moro Local Government Area. The 505 stool samples were collected and examined by both wet mount preparation and formol-ether concentration methods. Questionnaire on bio-data and other information on factors associated with transmission of intestinal parasitic infections was administered on the patients. Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections was 60.4% among the Fulani. High proportion of the patients had coccidian parasites such as Cryptosporidium, Cyclospora and Isospora, than other protozoan and helminthic parasites. Factors like unsafe water sources, improper disposal of human and animal wastes, drinking unpasteurized fresh milk and poor personal hygiene were considered contributing factors to the high prevalence of intestinal parasites among the nomad Fulani. The study provided a new insight into burden of intestinal parasites among Fulani herdsmen and factors associated with their transmission and spread.
Keywords: Nomadic Fulani; faecal samples; intestinal parasite; coccidian parasites; Kwara State