PREVALENCE OF INTESTINAL PARASITES IN METEMA DISTRICT HOSPITAL, NORTHWEST ETHIOPIA
Keywords:intestinal parasite, protozoan, multiple infection
Background: Intestinal parasitic infections (IPI) cause serious public health problem in Ethiopia. They are more prevalent in the poor segments of the population with low household income, poor handling of personal and environmental sanitation, overcrowding and limited access to clean water.
Objective: The aim of this study is to determine the prevalence and distribution of common IPs in Metema District Hospital (MDH).
Methodology: This retrospective study was undertaken in MDH from September 14, 2005 to April 21, 2008. The study subjects were those who gave stool samples for IPs investigation in the laboratory. Stool specimens were examined microscopically for the presence of protozoan, cysts and trophozoites.
Results: Of the total 2592 (44.5%) had one or more intestinal parasitic infections. E. histolytica, G. lamblia, the Hookworm species, and A. lumbricoides were detected as single infection in 1435(24.8%), 694(12.0%), 215(3.7%) and 112(1.9%) of the infected study subjects, respectively. Multiple infection was found in 125 (4.8%) of the total examined. The prevalence of amoebiasis was significantly high in infants less than 1 year and teenagers than other age groups (P<0.05).In addition, higher proportions of teenagers were infected by Hookworm, 46 (13.3%).
Conclusion: Intestinal parasitoses, particularly protozoan infections, were highly prevalent in the study area. Periodical deworming (once in 3 to 6 months) in addition to health education on how to practice personal hygiene, food and water sanitation, and the proper use of the latrine should be given to reduce the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections.