Original Research

Intestinal parasitic infections and malnutrition amongst first-cycle primary schoolchildren in Adama, Ethiopia

Getachew Belay, Pawlos Reji, Berhanu Erko, Mengistu Legesse, Mulugeta Belay
African Journal of Primary Health Care & Family Medicine | Vol 3, No 1 | a198 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/phcfm.v3i1.198 | © 2011 Getachew Belay, Pawlos Reji, Berhanu Erko, Mengistu Legesse, Mulugeta Belay | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 24 May 2010 | Published: 12 May 2011

About the author(s)

Getachew Belay, Ethiopian Health and Nutrition Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Pawlos Reji, Oromia Health Bureau, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Berhanu Erko, Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Mengistu Legesse, Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
Mulugeta Belay, Aklilu Lemma Institute of Pathobiology, Addis Ababa University, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia


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Abstract

Background: A survey of intestinal parasitic infections and malnutrition in different regions or localities is a very important step in developing appropriate prevention and control strategies.

Objectives: The objective of this study was to investigate the magnitude of intestinal parasitic infections and malnutrition amongst first-cycle primary schoolchildren in Adama town,Ethiopia.

Method: A total of 358 children from four primary schools in Adama town were included for stool examination, weight for age, height for age, weight for height and socio-economic status of the family.

Results: The result of stool examinations showed that 127 (35.5%) of the study subjects were infected by one or more parasite. The most frequent parasites were Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (12.6%) and Hymenolopis nana (8.9%). The rate of intestinal parasitic infection was not significantly associated with sex, age or socio-economic factors and nutrition (P > 0.05). The overall prevalence of malnutrition was 21.2%. Those children whose families had a monthly income of less than 200 ETB (Ethiopian birr) were highly affected by malnutrition (P < 0.05),but family education was not identified as a factor for malnutrition amongst schoolchildren.

Conclusion: The prevalence of E. histolytica/dispar and H. nana could be of public health importance and calls for appropriate control strategies, and the high prevalence of malnutrition amongst children from poor families requires intervention.


Keywords

malnutrition; intestinal parasites; infection; stool examination; schoolchildren

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Crossref Citations

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