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2011 / VOL-01,ISSUE-04,OCTOBER-DECEMBER 2011

Intestinal Parasitosis Among Undernourished Children of an Urban Settlement in West Africa: Pattern and Types.

By  JOMBO G.T.A

Research Articles

Page:  148-153

Abstract

Human intestinal parasites and malnutrition still constitute a major health challenge in several parts of sub-saharan Africa with the attendant clinical and social impact on the people. This study was set up to ascertain the level of intestinal parasitosis among undernourished children in Jos with a view of improving on the quality of their medicare. The study was hospital based. Children aged 6 to 70 months attending Paediatric clinic in Jos comprising 311 undernourished and 97 controls were consecutively recruited into the study. Relevant information on the subjects and their respective caregivers such as age, sex, occupation, educational levels and wealth index were obtained with the aid of structured questionnaires while stool samples were collected, stored and processed using standard methods to identify stool parasites. The incidence of intestinal parasites among the undernourished children was 63.3% compared to 22.7% among the control (P<0.001). The most common parasites recovered were Entamoeba dispar 27.6% (64), Entamoeba coli 19.7% (46), Cryptosporidium parvum 15.9% (34) and Hookworm 14.5% (34) while Ascaris lumbricoides 32.4% (15) was the commonest parasite recovered from the control group. Besides malnutrition, low educational levels, poor sanitary conditions, and obviously economic factors were all contributory to the high parasite burden Health education on personal and environmental hygiene should be intensified and avenues to improve literacy levels pursued while mass chemotherapy with antihelminths be seriously considered in the interim.

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