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N Am J Med Sci. 2011 Jan;3(1):30-4. doi: 10.4297/najms.2011.330.

A significant association between intestinal helminth infection and anaemia burden in children in rural communities of Edo state, Nigeria.

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1
Department of Medical Microbiology, University of Benin Teaching Hospital, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Anaemia is estimated to affect half the school-age children and adolescents in developing countries.

AIM:

This study aimed to determine the prevalence of anaemia and evaluate the relationship of intestinal helminth infection on the anaemia status of children in the rural communities of Evbuomore, Isiohor, and Ekosodin. in the Ovia North East local government area of Edo State, Nigeria.

SUBJECTS AND METHODS:

Faecal samples and blood samples were obtained from 316 children aged 1-15 years. Faecal samples were examined using standard parasitological techniques, and anaemia was defined as blood haemoglobin <11 g/dL.

RESULTS:

Of the 316 children, 38.6% were anaemic: 75.9% of children in Evbuomore, 42.3% in Isiohor and 26.8% in Ekosodin. The overall parasite prevalence in the three communities were: Ascaris lumbricoides (75.6%), hookworm (16.19%) and Trichuris trichiura (7.3%). Malnutrition was patent; 37.0% of the children were stunted, 19.3% wasted, and 44.0% underweight. There was a statistically significant association between hookworm and Ascaris lumbricoides infection and anaemia (P < .001). Serum ferritin levels were more sensitive than haemoglobin in detecting anemia and were correlated with intestinal helminth infection.

CONCLUSION:

Intestinal helminth infection in a concomitant state of malnutrition is observed in this population. Intervention programmes should be aimed at control of intestinal helminth infection and iron supplementation.

KEYWORDS:

Anaemia; Children; Intestinal helminth infection; Iron deficiency anaemia

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