Parasitic agents in childhood diarrhoea and malnutrition.West Afr J Med. 1997 Jan-Mar; 16(1):36-9.WA
In a prospective survey, 1130 children were studied for parasitic infections associated with acute diarrhoea and/or protein energy malnutrition at the Jos University Teaching Hospital, Jos, Nigeria. Intestinal parasites were isolated in 29.2% of the children with E. histolytica, S. mansoni, Hookworm and A. lumbricoides predominating. Children with diarrhoea marginally harbour parasites more frequently than those without diarrhoea, particularly the diarrhoeagenic parasites. The prevalence and pattern of parasitic infections was similar between the malnourished children and their controls reflecting similar environmental influence. We therefore conclude that significant number of children are infected with intestinal parasites and these contribute to morbidity and mortality by precipitating or aggravating diarrhoeal disease or malnutrition. The need for improving sanitation, community awareness, and periodical mass treatment of pre-school and school age children with antiprotozoal and anti-helminthic drugs is advocated.