Intestinal helminthic infections among elementary students of Babile town, eastern Ethiopia
Introduction: Intestinal helminthic infections are important public health problems in developing countries. In Ethiopia, intestinal parasitic infections are highly prevalent because of low living standards and poor environmental sanitation. There are several areas in Ethiopia from which
epidemiological information is lacking including Babile town. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of intestinal helminthic
infection among students of Babile town.
Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted from May 14 to June 08, 2012. Stool samples collected from 644 students were examined by the McMaster method. Data were analyzed using SPSS version 16.0. Univariate analysis was carried out using the Chi-square test to check for presence or absence of association between exposure and the presence of infection and odds ratios with 95% CI were computed to measure the strength of association. Logistic regression was used to calculate predictors of helminthic infection. Statistical significance was set at P < 0.05.
Results: The prevalence of intestinal helminths was 13.8%, of which three students were infected with soil transmitted helminths with a prevalence rate of 0.47%. The prevalence of Hymenolepis nana, Enterobius vermicularis, hookworm, and Trichiura trichiura infections were 13, 0.6, 0.3, and 0.2% respectively. Intestinal helminthic infection was significantly associated with grade and sex of the school children.
Conclusion: The prevalence of intestinal helminths was low. Health information dissemination is recommended. Since infection by Hymenolepis nana is a long term health problem in the area, provision of regular treatment by anthelminthic drug of choice for hymenolepiasis is also recommended.