Intestinal Helminth Infection among Primary School Children in Ntezi Area of Ebonyi State, Nigeria
A survey of intestinal helminth infections among primary school children in Ntezi, Ishielu LGA of Ebonyi state, Nigeria was undertaken using direct smear and egg floatation techniques. A total of three hundred stool samples were collected from pupils of both sexes and examined. Their ages ranged from six to fourteen years old. 81 out of the 300 samples were positive for various intestinal helminths with hookworm accounting for 16.7%; Ascaris lumbricoides, 8%; Trichuris trichura,1%; Strongyloides stercoralis,0.67%; and mixed infections of hookworm and Ascaris 0.67%. Age and sex affected the pattern of infections. Pupils aged 6-8 years had the highest prevalence of 40(35.6%); 9-11 years 32(33.3%) and 12-14 years had 9(10%). Infection was more in females (33.3%) than in males (19.6%). Pupils that defecate in the bush had highest infection of 15%; pit toilet 6.7%; stream 5% while those that use water closet had no infection. Assessment on source of water showed that pupils who use stream water had the highest infections of 45 (58%); well water 23(28.4%); borehole 11(13.6%) and rainfall had no infection. Infections were detected in all the schools investigated. The study showed that school pupils carry heavy intestinal parasite burden and the socio-economic status of parents, source of water and methods of fecal wastes disposal all had contributory effects on the prevalence of infections. To reduce the prevalence and effects of helminth infections in the area, school-based de-worming campaign, public health awareness programmes, improved water supply and improved socio-economic status of the populace are recommended.
OC Ani, NJ Akamnonu