Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Infection and Associated Risk Factors Among Primary and Middle School Children in Zigem Town, Awi Zone, Northwest Ethiopia
Keywords:Intestinal par asite; School childr en; Risk factor s, Zigem
Intestinal parasitic infections are globally the greatest cause of illness and disease. They are linked to lack of sanitation, lack of access to safe water, poor hygiene and poverty. Though all age groups are affected, children are most affected. The objective of this study was to estimate the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections and determine associated risk factors among Zigem Primary School children in Awi zone, Amhara region, Ethiopia. A cross sectional study was conducted from January-August, 2018. Participants were selected using systematic random sampling from classroom rosters. Direct-wet mount and formal-ether concentration was used for the diagnosis of stool samples. A questionnaire-items format was used to collect sociodemographic characters and possible risk factors. Data was analyzed using SPSS software version 20. Logistic regression was used to assess the strengths of possible risk factors. Out of the total of 576 school children, 178 (30.9%) were infected by one or more parasites. Entamoeba histolytica/dispar 80(13.9%), Ascaris lumbricoides 46 (8%), Hymenolepis nana 3 (0.5%), Giardia lamblia 4 (0.7%) and Hookworm infection 2 (0.3%) were identified. Male
students i.e., 99 (17.2%; p < 0.05) were more infected than female students i.e., 79 (13.7%). Students with the age range of 11-14 years were more affected than other age categories (p=0.024). Family size, hand washing habit and latrine usage were associated risk factors for intestinal parasitic infections. The findings obtained from this study indicate the need for strengthening the control of intestinal parasitic infections. Hence, there should be a regular deworming program and health education to school children.