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Trop Med Infect Dis. 2019 Jul 29;4(3). pii: E112. doi: 10.3390/tropicalmed4030112.

Helminthiasis among School-Age Children and Hygiene Conditions of Selected Schools in Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria.

Author information

1
National Institute of Parasitic Diseases (NIPD), Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, World Health Organization Collaborating Centre for Tropical Diseases, Shanghai 200025, China. abeeniola11@126.com.
2
Department of Zoology, Federal University of Lafia, P.M.B 146, Lafia 950101, Nigeria.
3
Department of Pure and Applied Zoology, Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta, P.M.B 2240, Abeokuta 110124, Nigeria.

Abstract

The burden of soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) infections in Nigeria is enormous with serious public health significance. This study, therefore, assessed helminthiasis among school-age children and the hygiene conditions of schools in Lafia, Nasarawa State, Nigeria between December 2015 and April 2016 from four randomly selected primary schools. Stool samples were collected from 200 primary school pupils including 80 males (40%) and 120 females (60%) between five and 16 years, using clean sample bottles and a standard parasitology examination technique at the central laboratory at the Federal University, Lafia. An overall prevalence of 33.5% (67/200) helminths infections was recorded. A checklist of Ascaris lumbricoides, hookworm, Trichuris trichiura, and Strongyloides stercoralis was generated from the pooled data of the four studied schools in which A. lumbricoides occurred highest with 13% (26/200) while S. stercoralis was the least prevalent at 2.50% (5/200). Among the schools sampled, St. James Pilot Science Primary School's children were the most infected at 44% (22/50). Multiple infections were observed in three of the four schools sampled. There was no significant difference (p > 0.05) in prevalence rates of different STHs infections in relation to age group and gender across schools. Our findings showed that the hygiene conditions in the studied schools were poor without water, hand washing materials, refuse bins, as well as poor sanitary conditions. This study also identified ova and larvae of STHs parasites in the analyzed soil samples from the studied schools. Most school-age children had knowledge about contamination but few among them washed their hands with water and soap. The obtained result indicated a negative association between the prevalence of STHs and the proportion of pupils that cleaned up with water after defection. We, therefore, advise that hygiene conditions in schools be improved and that the government should prioritize enrolling all primary schools in Nasarawa state for the school health program so as to reduce the burden of STHs among school-age children in the state.

KEYWORDS:

Lafia; Nigeria; helminthiasis; hygiene; school-age; schools

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