Prevalence of intestinal parasites among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in a tertiary health institution in the Nigerian middle belt area
This study aim to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasites among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in a tertiary health institution in the middle belt of Nigeria. Stool samples of six hundred females, consisting of three hundred each of pregnant women and nonpregnant ladies (controls) were collected and screened for intestinal parasites. The stool samples were microscopically examined fresh for trophozoites, ova and cysts of intestinal parasites before being formol-ether concentrated.
Concentrated stool specimens were re-examined for ova and cysts of intestinal parasites and modified Zeihl-Nelson stained to identify and oocysts. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasitic infection was 33.0%. There was a statistically significant difference (p<0.05) in the prevalence of intestinal parasites among pregnant women (45.7%) compared with the controls (20.3%). The most frequently observed intestinal parasite was (14.8%) accounting for 21.3% and 8.3% of intestinal parasitosis respectively among the pregnant women and the control. Other intestinal parasites seen included (12.7%), Hookworm (3.8%), spp. (1.2%), species (0.3%) and (0.2%). Mixed intestinal parasitic infections were present in both pregnant and the control group with and being the most occurring (8.33%). Primiparous women (53.9%) were significantly (p<0.05) more infected than multiparous women (35.5%). Intestinal parasitic infect ion is significantly prevalent among pregnant women living in the middle belt of Nigeria.Anational intestinal parasitic infection among pregnant women is advocated and the addition of worm expellant to other routine drugs for antenatal care may be a necessity in Nigeria.
Keywords: prevalence, intestinal, parasite, pregnancy