Soil – Transmitted Helminthiasis: Prevalence and Rist Factors Among pupils in Primary Schools in Umuahia South Local Government Area, Abia State, Nigeria
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Soil Transmitted helminthes is a public health problem in the tropic. A study on helminthissis was carried out to determine its prevalence and associated risk factors among pupils in primary schools in Umuahia South Local Government Area. Abia State Nigeria, using formol – Ether concentration technique on the fecal samples from the different schools and structured questionnaire to determine the risk factors associated with the disease. A total of 450 fecal samples were collected with overall prevalence of 45.33%. The soil-transmitted helminthes recorded were hookworm, 90 (20%), Ascaris lumbricoides, 84 (18.67%) and Trichuris trichuria , 30 (6.67%). The difference was statistically significant (P<0.05). Prevalence was higher among the females 120 (48.78%) than in males 84 (41.18%) through not statistically significant (P>0.05). The prevalence was highest among pupils of age group 11 – 13 (60%), followed by age group 8 – 10 (54.72%) and the least was among 5 – 7 age group (30.77%). Amakama Central School Olokoro had the highest prevalence (68.90%) due to very poor hygiene, followed by Old Umuahia Primary School II (40.00%) while Adventist Care Nursery and Primary School had the least prevalence rate (10%). Hand wash pattern among the pupils showed a very low response, while 42.67% do not wash their hands after using the toilet, 24.89% also do not wash their hands before eating. The difference was statistically significant (P<0.05) Pupils that make use of public pit latrine had the highest prevalence (57.69%), followed by those that use private pit latrine (44.18%) compared with the pupils that use public water system (41.18%) and those that use private water system (28.25%). The high prevalence and types of soil-transmitted helminthes recorded among children in primary school suggest an urgent need for intervention. Education on proper hygiene habit especially at the primary school level is highly recommended with a coordinated multi-sectoral and multi-disciplinary strategy that integrates periodic de-worming, health education, provision of potable water supply and environmental sanitation for effective control and management.
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