Effect of Social Class and Area of Domicile on the Prevalence of Intestinal Helminthiasis in Nursery and Primary School Children in Enugu
Objective: The primary objective of the study was to determine the effect of social class and area of domicile on the prevalence of helminthiasis in nursery and primary school children in Enugu.
Subjects and method: This was a cross-sectional study in which stool samples were obtained from 460 nursery and primary school children from different social classes and different areas of domicile and analysed for intestinal helminthiasis using the Kato Katz method.
Results: One hundred and sixty-six (36.1%) of the 460 children studied lived in the urban area; 215 (46.7%) lived in the semi-urban area and 79 (17.2%) lived in the urban slum area. The prevalence of intestinal helminthic infection was lowest in children living in urban areas (10.2%) and highest in those in urban slums (48.4%). There was a significant relationship between residential abode or area of domicile and prevalence of helminthic infection (χ2 = 59.54; df = 2; p = 0.001).
The prevalence of intestinal helminthic infection was highest in the lower class (50.9%), lowest in the upper class (9.7%) and intermediate in the middle class (21.7%). This trend was statistically significant (χ2 = 65.06; df = 2; p = 0.001). Conclusion: It is concluded that the prevalence of intestinal helminthiasis is affected by both areas of domicile and social class of children. Hence, intervention by the government to create better areas of domicile and to improve the social class of its populace will reduce the prevalence of intestinal helminthiasis.
Keywords: Intestinal helminthiasis, children, area of domicile, social class