Cryptosporidiosis among children attending University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital, Enugu, Nigeria

  • MO Obiukwu
  • AE Onyido
  • PU Umeanaeto
  • UI Okoye

Abstract

A study was carried out to determine the prevalence of Cryptosporidium parvum infection among children aged 0-15 years attending University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital (UNTH), Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria, from January to May, 2007. A total of 480 stool samples were examined for oocysts of C. parvum using the modified Ziel-Neelson staining technique. The overall prevalence was 21.8%. About 74.0% and 10.1% watery and soft-formed stool samples respectively were infected with C. parvum oocysts. The prevalence rate of infection varied with age with the peak among the age-group 3-5 years (31.6%) and decreasing steadily thereafter. Males (26.8%) were more infected than females (18.0%), however the difference was not statistically significant (p>0.05). The prevalence rate was significantly (p<0.05) higher in children who use nearby bushes (45.0%) and water closet (cistern toilet) (20.9) for defaecation than those who use pit latrine (12.7%). Those children whose
source of drinking water was stream had the highest infection rate (44.1%) than those who used other sources of water. Intervention by way of education on good hygienic habits, routine screening at health institution coupled with legislation against indiscriminate disposal of faeces and its reinforcement is recommended.
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