Savannah Journal of Medical Research and Practice

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Superficial fungal infection: prevalence and risk factors among primary school pupil in Ilorin

SA Adefemi, LO Odeigah, KM Alabi


Background: Superficial fungal infections are common in the tropics particularly in the rural areas where children are predisposed. The causative organisms include dermatophytes, yeasts and non-dermatophyte molds.
Objectives: To determine the prevalence and risk factors of superficial fungal infection among primary school children aged 5-16 years in Oke-Oyi, Kwara state.
Methods: A four month descriptive cross-sectional survey was carried out among 602 children aged 5-16 years in Oke-Oyi, Kwara state. A total of 180 specimens were collected from children with clinically suspected fungal infection.
Results: The prevalence of clinically suspected fungal infection was 29.9% (180/602), dermatophytes accounted for 16.7% (30/180), while non dermatophyte molds represent majority of isolate, 51.7% (93/180). Some of the factors which were significantly associated with the risk of acquisition of dermatophytic infections include age of the child, past history of similar lesion, over-crowding in the home, normal sweat pattern and badly smelling socks among others.
Conclusion: This study demonstrates that several risk factors are associated with superficial fungal infection among children. Knowledge of these risk factors is important when treating infected children, and educating parents and teachers about fungal infection.

Key words: Superficial fungal infection, risk factors, children.

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