Prevalence and Pattern of Soil Transmitted Helminths (STHs) among Primary School Children at Nnewi, Nnewi- North Local Government Area, Anambra State, Nigeria

Prevalence and Pattern of Soil Transmitted Helminths (STHs) among Primary School Children at Nnewi, Nnewi- North Local Government Area, Anambra State, Nigeria

Soil Transmitted Helminths (STHs) are of great Public Health importance. The present study was designed to evaluate the prevalence and pattern of STHs among Primary School Children at Nnewi, Nnewi North Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria. 250 school children aged 1-12 years were randomly recruited from 5 major primary schools at Nnewi between January and June 2017. 95 (38%) were males while 155 (62%) were females. Stool samples were collected using universal sterile containers and examined microscopically using saline floatation method. Out of the 250 pupils examined, 105 (42%) were positive for at least one STH. 40 (42.1%) of the males examined were positive while 65 (41.9%) of the females were positive. There was no significant difference between sexes (P > 0.05). Children aged 1-5 years had the highest prevalence (62.2%), followed by those aged 6-8 years (33.3). Children aged 9-12 years had the least prevalence. Prevalence was significantly different between the different age groups (P < 0.05). Among the STHs isolated, Ascaris lumbricoides was the most prevalent (22%), followed by Hookworm (14%). The least prevalent was Trichuris trichiura (6%). No case of mixed infection was detected. The study concludes that STHs are of immense public Health importance in primary School children at Nnewi and efforts should be intensified to promote health education, personal hygiene and sanitation and regular deworming of school children. In conclusion, STHs have remained endemic in the study area in particular and Nigeria in general and is a major source of public health concern. Strict environmental sanitation, provision of adequate water supply, good housing, coupled with health education will go a long way towards its eradication. This should be the target of all governments in Nigeria.

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