Ascariasis and its Impact in Rural Communities Near Abeokuta, Nigeria

Sam-Wobo O. S., Ashade A. A., Mafiana C. F.


An evaluation of ascariasis was investigated in six rural communities (Idi-Ori,  Dega –Eruku, Tolato, Ika-Ajibefun, Aka/Kipe and Akiode) near Abeokuta, Nigeria. Faecal examination, structured questionnaires and physical observations were used to determine prevalence, burden of disease, Knowledge, Attitude and Practices (KAP) of the 619 respondents in the study areas. Males 334 (54%) were more than females 285 (46%) across the communities.  Age groups observed were 31 years and above (34.5%), 1-10 years (27.5%), 21-30 years (25.1%) and 11-20 years (12.9%). The study revealed a very high prevalence of infection (96-100%) in all the communities, but with low intensities. Both prevalence and intensity were not significantly affected by the differences in age groups and sex (p>0.05). Sanitary behaviour showed that respondents preferred the bush as sites for defaecation (91.8%) and disposal of house-generated wastes (92.2%) respectively. Sources of drinking water are mainly stream/pond (65.6%), borehole (28.1%) and deep well (6.3%). Mean analysis of the effect of infection burden (64.72 ± 15.28) showed that ascariasis had very serious effect on their daily activities. Inability to go to farm (54.90 ± 10.96), was identified as the highest burden, followed by inability to go to market (25.30 ± 5.44) and inability to go to school (19.81 ± 10.38). T-test analysis revealed a significant difference between infection status and socio-economic activities (inability to farm t = 12.260, P = <0.005, inability to go to school t = 4.670, P = <0.005 and inability to go to market t = 11.382, P= <0.005). Most respondents revealed that infection status exceeded five months. The level of assistance received during infection, only showed a correlation relationship of r ' 0.838, at p ' <0.005 between the infected individual and his/her spouse. Forty percent of the respondents utilised orthodox treatment, as opposed to 29.7% that utilized herbal treatments. 45.3% of the respondents can only afford the sum of N50.00 for treatment, 9.6% can afford N51 – N100, while 36.6% of respondents are not willing to pay.  The lack of unwillingness to pay for treatment may also be attributed to the ignorant nature of the effects of ascariasis, and the economic profile of the respondents, who are mainly farmers.


Ascariasis, prevalence, evaluation, rural communities, Abeokuta.

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