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Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol. 2016;2016:1326085. doi: 10.1155/2016/1326085. Epub 2016 May 30.

Helminthic Infection and Nutritional Studies among Orang Asli Children in Sekolah Kebangsaan Pos Legap, Perak.

Author information

1
School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Malaysia.
2
Tuberculosis and Leprosy Control Unit, Perak State Health Department, Ministry of Health, Jalan Panglima Bukit Gantang Wahab, 30590 Ipoh, Perak, Malaysia.
3
School of Health Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Malaysia; Institute for Research in Molecular Medicine (INFORMM), Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, 16150 Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.

Abstract

BACKGROUND:

Orang Asli (aborigine) children are susceptible to soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections due to their lifestyle and substandard sanitation system.

OBJECTIVES:

This study aimed to examine the helminthic and nutritional status of Orang Asli school children in Sekolah Kebangsaan Pos Legap, a remote primary school at Kuala Kangsar District in the state of Perak, Malaysia. In addition, the sensitivities of four STH stool examination techniques were also compared.

METHODS:

Demography and anthropometry data were collected by one-to-one interview session. Collected stools were examined with four microscopy techniques, namely, direct wet mount, formalin ether concentration (FEC), Kato-Katz (KK), and Parasep™.

RESULTS:

Anthropometry analysis showed that 78% (26/33) of children in SK Pos Legap were malnourished and 33% (11/33) of them were stunted. Stool examinations revealed almost all children (97%) were infected by either one of the three commonest STHs. FEC was the most sensitive method in detection of the three helminth species.

CONCLUSION:

This study revealed that STH infections and nutritional status still remain a health concern among the Orang Asli children. These communal problems could be effectively controlled by regular monitoring of STH infection loads, administration of effective antihelminthic drug regimen, and also implementation of effective school nutritional programs.

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