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Can J Infect Dis Med Microbiol. 2019 Mar 25;2019:5827124. doi: 10.1155/2019/5827124. eCollection 2019.

Prevalence of Ectoparasitic Infections and Other Dermatological Infections and Their Associated Factors among School Children in Gampaha District, Sri Lanka.

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Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, University of Kelaniya, Ragama, Sri Lanka.
Department of Bio-systems Engineering, Faculty of Agriculture and Plantation Management, Wayamba University, Makandura, Sri Lanka.


Skin disorders are one of the commonest conditions among school children in developing countries. There are only a few published studies available from Sri Lanka on the prevalence of skin disorders. A community-based cross-sectional study was carried out among five government-run schools randomly selected from the district of Gampaha, Sri Lanka, during 2016-2017. A total of 41 students between 5 and 16 years of age were randomly selected from each school. Sociodemographic profile and hygienic behaviors of selected students were assessed using a pretested interviewer-administered questionnaire. Students were examined by a medical officer for the presence of different skin disorders. The chi-squared test of association and binary logistic regression were used for the identification of the significance of socioeconomic factors and hygienic practices among the study participants. A total of 205 school children participated in the study. The commonest skin disorder was pediculosis (42.0%; n=86), followed by dandruff (8.3%; n=17), fungal infections (6.8%; n=14), and scabies (1.5%; n=3). Almost one-fourth of the study participants (22.9%; n=30/131) had more than one disorder, majored by Pediculus captis infestation with dandruff. Over one-third (36.1%; n=74) were free of any skin disorders. The prevalence of skin disorders was significantly high among females (87.3%; n=110), compared to males (26.6%; n=21). Presence of long hair, higher family size, and limited number of rooms in the house were risk factors associated with the prevalence of skin disorders. The commonest skin disorder was pediculosis, while scabies and fungal infections were scarce among school children in the district of Gampaha, Sri Lanka. Implementation of health education and monitoring programs at the school level for maintaining the dermal health status of school children is recommended.

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