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Prevalence and Burden of Gastrointestinal Parasites among University Students at Dar es Salaam University College of Education, Tanzania

Magreth Fulgence
Ummul-Khair Mustafa
Jared S. Bakuza


Gastrointestinal parasites cause major health problems in many tropical and sub-tropical countries including Tanzania. However, information on the status of these infections is often scanty, especially among young adults including students in higher learning institutions.  During December 2020 to June 2021, a total of 272 faecal samples from university students at Dar es Salaam University College of Education (DUCE) were examined for parasites using the Kato Katz technique and analysed for infection levels based on standard guidelines. Detected parasites were identified as Schistosoma mansoni (8.1%), hookworms (1.5%), Trichuris trichiura (0.4%) and Hymenolepis diminuta (0.4%), with an overall prevalence of 10.4%. S. mansoni had the highest mean intensity of 792 eggs per gram (epg) of faeces, while H.  diminuta was the least intense parasite (120 epg). While infection levels of most parasites were generally low, S. mansoni intensity was categorized as heavy based on standard criteria.  The findings indicated the public importance of parasitic infections among young adults who are often excluded from most intervention programmes. Thus, further studies to elucidate the magnitude of the infections among young adults in higher learning institutions in Tanzania is warranted alongside regular prescriptions of anthelminthics and sanitation and hygiene education to reduce parasite transmissions.

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eISSN: 2507-7961
print ISSN: 0856-1761