Intestinal parasites amongst primary school children attending Ta’al Model Primary School in Lafia Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Nigeria
Intestinal parasites are a major health challenge in the tropical and sub-tropical regions. The high prevalence of intestinal parasites has been attributed to poverty leading to poor hygiene, inadequate health services and contaminated food and water. A survey of intestinal parasitic infectation was conducted among 200 primary school children of Ta’al Modern Primary School, Bukan-Sidi in Lafia Local Government Area of Nasarawa State, Nigeria. Stool specimens were collected and examined using direct smear method and formol-ether concentration technique. The prevalence of intestinal parasite recorded was 95(47.5%) in the study-area. A total of six intestinal parasites species were identified: Entomoeba histolytica 15(15.8%), Giardia lamblia 14(14.7%) Ascairis lumbicoides 23(24.2%), Hookworm 28(29.5%), Trichuris trichiura 8 (8.4%) and Fasciola hepatica 7(7.4%). Amongst the six intestinal parasites, Hookworm recorded the highest prevalence 28(29.5%). Generally females 54(56.8%) were found to be more infected than males 41(43.1%). It was observed that prevalence of infection decreased with increase in age group of the pupils. The age-group 7-9 years recorded the highest 27(28.4%) prevalence and least 22(23.2%) in age group 13-15. The highest prevalence 23(24.2%) was found amongst primary one pupils and the least 8(8.4%) was in primary six. Statistical analysis using chi-square (x2) showed no significant difference (p>0.05) in the prevalence of infection between sex, age-group and class of pupils. Intestinal parasitic infection can be reduced through public health awareness campaign to improved personal hygiene and environmental sanitation including good water supply.
Keywords: Intestinal parasite; infection; primary school children; Nasarawa State