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Parasitological and nutritional situation of school children in the Sukaraja district, West Java, Indonesia.

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  • 1SEAMEO-TROPMED Regional Center for Community Nutrition, University of Indonesia, Jakarta, Indonesia.


A parasitological survey of children aged 8 to 10 years from ten schools located in the rural district Sukaraja, West Java, Indonesia was conducted in December 1995. A total of 348 fecal samples were examined by using modified Kato-Katz thick smear techniques, 365 blood samples for the measurement of hemoglobin concentration, and anthropometric data were obtained from 404 participants. Four nematode (hookworm taken as one species), two cestode and nine protozoan species were detected, but no trematode infection was observed. Among helminths, soil-transmitted nematode infections were predominant, Trichuris trichiura with a prevalence of 76% being the most common infection, followed by Ascaris lumbricoides (44%). Hookworm and Enterobius vermicularis were found in 9% and 3% of the children examined, respectively. Among protozoa, Blastocystis hominis was by far the most common species, detected in 60% of volunteers cases. For the helminths A. lumbricoides, T. trichiura and hookworm, school to school differences in parasite prevalence and infection intensity were observed; these were probably due to different socioeconomic and sanitary-environmental conditions. Intensity of Ascaris and hookworm infection tended to be highly over-dispersed; 85% of the worms identified were harbored by 15% and 7% of the children, respectively. Nutritional status was characterized by an average anemia rate of 13% and a prevalence of 51% stunting. All nutritional indicators differed significantly from school to school. Intensity of geohelminths infection could not be associated to the observed nutritional indicators. Thus, there must be additional factors contributing to the studied nutritional indicators of the school children which overlay a possible influence of moderate to heavy worm burden.

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