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Journal Of Tropical Biosciences

Year: 2015|   Volume No: 10|   ISSN: 0795-3089|   Page No: 57


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Title:  PREVALENCE OF GASTROINTESTINAL HELMINTHS AND URINARY SCHISTOSOMIASIS IN RELATION TO ANTHROPOMETRIC INDICES AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN SAMARU-ZARIA, KADUNA STATE, NIGERIA

MBAH, N.S.*, LUKA, S.A. AND ISHOLA, O.B.

DEPARTMENT OF BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES, AHMADU BELLO UNIVERSITY ZARIA, KADUNA, NIGERIA

ABSTRACT

A study was conducted from March – July 2015 to determine the prevalence of gastro-intestinal helminthiasis and urinary schistosomiasis and their relationship with anthropometric indices among school children aged 4 – 15 years in some selected primary schools in Samaru, Zaria, Kaduna state, Nigeria. Faecal and urine samples of 234 children comprising 100 males and 134 females were examined using the 41.7mg Kato-Katz and sedimentation techniques respectively. Out of the 234 children examined 75 (32.1%) were infected with one or more helminth parasites. The most prevalent intestinal helminth was Hookworm 26 (11.1%), while Ascaris lumbricoides 17 (7.3%), Schistosoma mansoni 9 (3.8%), Trichuris trichiura 3 (1.3%), Hymenolepis nana 2 (0.9%) were higher than Taenia species 2 (0.9%) which was the least. Schistosoma haematobium was detected in urine of 24 (10.3%) of the school children. No significant difference (P = 0.73, P > 0.05) in infection between age groups. Males (44%) were generally more infected than females 23.1% and the difference was significant (P = 0.00072, P < 0.05). The anthropometric indices showed correlation in males and females infected with respect to their weight (r=0.411), Body mass index (r=0.537) while there was no correlation between the infection and height (r=-0.137). A total of 63(26.9%) pupils had BMI <5th percentile (underweight), while 12 (5.1%) had BMI between 5th-84th percentile (healthy weight). No infected child had BMI above 85th percentile. The study showed that disease prevalence may have an effect on the BMI of children. Poverty, poor personal hygiene, inadequate water supply and ignorance were identified as the main factors that have contributed to the wide spread of infection among children. The low prevalence recorded in this study is indicates that more synchronized control measures of the parasites can be eradication can be achieved. Education, improved sanitation, provision of basic social amenities and periodic deworming programmes are the recommended control measures.

SUMMARY:

In this study, 32.1% and 10.3% prevalence of helminthiasis and urinary schistosomiasis was recorded among the primary school children.The most prevalent helminth parasite was Hookworm (11.1%) and the least was Taenia species (0.9%). Higher prevalence of helminthes was recorded in males (44.0%) than females (23.1%). Those that use pit latrine (OR=1.75), swim in water bodies (OR=1.9) and eating unwashed fruits/ vegetables (OR=1.2) were associated with transmission of the disease among the school children. Higher prevalence (73.5%) of malutrition among school children in the study area contributed to their underweight.

Thus further studies in this area are highly recommended to clearly explicate the effect of helminthiasis on body mass index. Poor personal hygiene, poor sanitation, inadequate water supply, ignorance, and poor toilet habits contributed to the wide spread of infection among the study population. There is need for periodic deworming programme, improved personal hygiene, water supplies and continuous health education.

Correspondence:

samuelmbah@hotmail.com


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