INTESTINAL HELMINTHS PREVALENCE IN PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN AFTER DEWORMING IN ABEOKUTA, SOUTHWESTERN NIGERIA
Periodic deworming of school children with antihelminthic drugs is frequently employed by government agencies to reduce morbidity due to intestinal helminths in rural settings. Such an exercise was recently conducted in February 2012 by the Ogun State Ministry of Health for public school children in Abeokuta, Southwestern Nigeria. This cross-sectional study was carried out two months later to assess the impact of de-worming exercise. Four schools: Baptist Primary School, Bode-Ijaye, First Baptist Primary School, Ijaye, Moshood Abiola model school, Adatan and Itesi Methodist school, Adatan were randomly selected out of 25 schools and screened for intestinal helminth infection in May 2012, using stool microscopy. Questionnaires were also administered to investigate their knowledge, attitudes and practices associated with intestinal helminths transmission. Of the 216 school children examined for intestinal helminths, 55 (25.5%) had intestinal helminthiasis, with Ascaris lumbricoides infection having the highest prevalence of 30 (13.9%), followed by hookworm infection 16 (7.4%) and 3 (1.4%) for Trichuris trichiuria. Co-infection with Ascaris/hookworm, Ascaris/Taenia was also observed although at very low prevalence. Infections were significantly higher (p=0.021) in school children using pit latrines 32 (32.99%) than those using water closet system 22 (19.13%). The presence of infection two months after the exercise suggests a strong need for incorporation of pre deworming and post deworming assessment plans into subsequent deworming exercises in the state.
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