High prevalence of Schistosoma mansoni and other intestinal parasites among elementary school children in Southwest Ethiopia: a cross-sectional study.BMC Public Health. 2015 Jul 02; 15:600.BP
Intestinal parasitic infections (IPIs) pose significant public health challenges in school children in developing countries. The aim of this study is to determine prevalence of intestinal parasites among elementary school children in Mizan-Aman town, southwest Ethiopia.
Institution-based cross-sectional study involving 460 elementary school children in Mizan-Aman Town was conducted from May to June 2013. The school children were selected using multistage sampling technique. Data on demography and predisposing factors of IPIs were collected using pretested questionnaire. Moreover, single stool specimen was examined microscopically after wet mount and formol-ether sedimentation concentration procedures. Infection intensity of Schistosoma mansoni and soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) was estimated using Kato-Katz egg counting method.
Age of the children ranged from 5 to 17 years. Overall, 76.7% (95%CI: 72.8-80.6) of the children harbored at least one species of intestinal parasite. Eight species of intestinal parasites were detected with S. mansoni (44.8%) and Ascaris lumbricoides (28.7%) being predominant. Helminths and pathogenic intestinal protozoa were detected in 73.9 and 7.8% of the children, respectively. After adjusting for other variables, age between 5 and 9 years (AOR, 2.6, 95%CI, 1.552-4.298), male gender (AOR, 2.1, 95%CI, 1.222-3.526), attending public school (AOR, 0.1, 95%CI, 0.060-0.256), using river/well water (AOR, 2.4, 95%CI, 0.912-6.191), irregular washing of hands before meal (AOR, 0.5, 95%CI, 0.254-0.865), consuming street food (AOR, 2.3, 95%CI, 1.341-3.813) and raw vegetables (AOR, 2.7, 95%CI, 1.594-4.540) were significantly associated with IPIs in the study participants.
Prevalence of intestinal parasites among the school children was high. Deworming of the school children and continuous follow up is required.