Prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections in children under the age of 5 years attending the Debre Birhan referral hospital, North Shoa, Ethiopia.BMC Res Notes. 2018 Jan 22; 11(1):58.BR
Intestinal parasitic infection is one of the major childhood health problems in developing countries. In Ethiopia, epidemiological data for several localities is limited. Hence, the aim of this study is to assess intestinal parasitic infections among under-five children attending in Debre Birhan referral hospital, which could help to decrease morbidity and mortality in children. A cross-sectional study was conducted in February, 2014. Stool specimens were collected and examined using concentration method.
Out of the 247 under-five children participated, 17.4% (95% CI 12.7-22.1%) of the children were infected with at least one or more protozoa parasites (14.2% [95% CI 9.9-18.5%]) and helminthes (3.2% [95% CI 1.0-5.4%]). Giardia lamblia (8.5%), Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (5.7%), Trichuris trichiura (1.6%) and Ascaris lumbricoides (1.2%) were the most identified parasites. Parasitic infection was higher in children who had source of drinking water from the river (36.8%), among children from mothers with poor hand washing practice (31.7%), and among children born from illiterate mothers (27.5%). This revealed that intestinal parasites affect the health of under-five children in the setting. Hence, improving environmental hygiene and inadequate water sanitation, and health education for behavioral changes to personal hygiene would be crucial for effective control of the parasite infections.