Assessment of health knowledge and risk factors associated with intestinal helminths in tertiary schools in Abeokuta, Nigeria

  • S O Sam-Wabo Parasitology Laboratory, Department of Biological Sciences University of Agriculturea, PMB 2240, Abeokuta 110001, Nigeria
  • O A Oyeyemi
  • O A Idowu
  • A Afolarin


A study was carried out on 2,020 students (54% from University of Agriculture, Abeokuta (UNAAB) and 46% from Federal College of Education, FCE, Osiele; using structured questionnaires and focus group discussions to assess comparative health knowledge, risk factors, attitude and practices associated with intestinal helminths. 59.5% (FCE Osiele) and 49% (UNAAB) reside in the school hostel. Of the 40.5% (FCE Osiele) and 51% (UNAAB) that stay off-campus, 17.2% and 15.7% reside in accommodation with toilet facility, while respondents without access to toilet facility defaecate in bushes. Most respondents (81.9% in FCE Osiele, and 79.5% in UNAAB), use water for anal cleaning. 65% and 59.6% in FCE Osiele and UNAAB use water and soap to wash hands after defaecation. 35% and 37.2% respondents in FCE Osiele and UNAAB had passed out worms before, however, T-test paired analysis did not show any relationship between hand washing and the passage of worms (t = 6.895, p = 0.092). T-test analysis on causes of worm infection, revealed a significant relationship between knowledge on causes of worm infection and passage of worms (t = 243.0 and p = 0.03). 48.1% and 61% in FCE Osiele and UNAAB had received medical treatment for worm infection. 85.8% and 84% in FCE Osiele and UNAAB believed that persons can be reinfected after treatment. However, regular de-worming (43.3%) and maintenance of good hygiene habits (41.4%) are factors in prevention. Due to the possible disease conditions that may arise from drinking contaminated water, 43.4% respondents resort to drinking pure water in sachet regularly, 50.8% drink it irregularly while 5.8% drinks it at parties. 77.8% of respondents disposed off the empty sachets in the dustbins within the school environment, and 22.2% dispose off the sachets indiscriminately. Government, they believed can contribute greatly to good water and environmental sanitation life of its citizens through health education (46.6%), regular environmental sanitation practices (29.9%), and the provision of social amenities (23.6%) for the good of the people.

Keywords:health knowledge, risk factors, intestinal helminths, Abeokuta.

Nigerian Journal of Parasitology Vol. 27 2006: pp.76-80

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eISSN: 1117-4145