PREVALENCE OF INTESTINAL PARASITIC INFECTIONS AMONG UNDER FIVE CHILDREN IN ABAKALIKI LOCAL GOVERNMENT AREA OF EBONYI STATE.
E.C. Achi, O.O. Njoku, A.U. Nnachi*, A.M. Efunshile, J.O. Mbah, I.N. Aghanya, P.O Nnemelu
The range of infections caused by intestinal parasites constitutes a major health problem among children in developing countries such as Nigeria. In this study, we investigated the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among under five children in Abakaliki Local Government Area of Ebonyi State. Stool samples were collected from 553 children comprising of 282 males and 271 females attending some selected health centres in the local government area and analyzed using standard parasitological techniques. Out of the 553 children sampled, 76 were infected with intestinal parasites giving the overall prevalence of 13.7%. Among this number, 37 were males while 39 were females. Prevalence of intestinal parasites was higher in females (n=39/271; 14.4%) than in males (n=37/282; 13.5%). This difference in the rate of infection with respect to sex was not significant, statistically (ᵡ2 = 0.1882; p = 0.664). The range of parasites seen included tapeworm (5.3%), Ascaris lumbricoides (7.9%), Strongyloides stercoralis (7.9%), hookworm (19.7%), Giardia lamblia (19.7%) and Entamoeba histolytica (39.5%) in their other of occurrence. Based on the health centres, highest prevalence was recorded in Enyida Health Centre I (18.6%) followed by Akpe-Amachi Health Centre (17.3%) and Okpitumo Health Centre (14.5%), while Maternal and Child Health recorded least (7.2%). There was no significance difference in prevalence of intestinal parasites with respect to health centres ((ᵡ2 = 8.0797; p = 0.88701) as well as distribution of the individual parasites across the different health centres (F-ratio = 0.25327; P = 0.90492). Intestinal parasites were prevalent among under five children in Abakaliki Local Government Area and this depicts the possible state of under five children in other rural communities in Ebonyi State, given that such level of prevalence was observed in the capital city of Ebonyi State.
Keywords: Prevalence, intestinal parasites, children, helminthes, infection.
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