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Prevalence, Infection Intensity and Associated Factors of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis Among School-Aged Children from Selected Districts in Northwest Ethiopia

Authors Zeleke AJ, Derso A, Bayih AG, Gilleard JS, Eshetu T

Received 1 November 2020

Accepted for publication 3 February 2021

Published 15 February 2021 Volume 2021:12 Pages 15—23


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 2

Editor who approved publication: Dr Mario Rodriguez-Perez

Ayalew Jejaw Zeleke,1 Adane Derso,1 Abebe Genetu Bayih,1,2 John S Gilleard,3 Tegegne Eshetu1

1Department of Medical Parasitology, School of Biomedical and Laboratory Sciences, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, University of Gondar, Gondar, Ethiopia; 2Armauer Hansen Research Institute, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia; 3Host-Parasite Interactions Program, Department of Comparative Biology and Experimental Medicine, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada

Correspondence: Tegegne Eshetu Tel +251921738483

Background: Globally, soil-transmitted helminths affect beyond a billion people and cause 1.9 million disability-adjusted life years worldwide. It affects children disproportionately due to their unaware activities like walking barefoot, playing with dirty objects that might be contaminated with feces. The control of soil-transmitted helminths principally relies on periodic deworming using either a single dose of albendazole/mebendazole. To assure the effectiveness of this measure, performing continuous parasitological survey is necessary. Herein, the prevalence, intensity and associated factors of soil-transmitted helminth infections were assessed among school-aged children in northwest Ethiopia.
Methods: A cross-sectional study design was conducted among school-aged children (6– 14 years old) from January 21st to February 21st/2019. Multistage sampling technique was employed. A Kato-Katz concentration technique was utilized to detect STHs in stool samples. Moreover, risk factors for STH infections were assessed using well-structured questionnaire. Bivariate and multivariate analyses were used to assess the association between explanatory and the outcome variables. The magnitude of the association was measured using the adjusted odds ratio (AOR) and 95% confidence interval (CI). A P-value < 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: The overall STHs prevalence in this study was 32.3% (95% CI: 29– 35.6%) with Ascaris lumbricoides being the predominant species (24.3%) followed by hookworm (8.9%) and Trichuris trichiura (1%). Most (80.3%) of the infected school-aged children had light-intensity infections. Age of 11 years and above (AOR, 12.9, 95% CI, 1.6– 103.6, P=0.004), being residing in Chuahit district (AOR, 3.9, 95% CI, 2.3– 6.5, P< 0.001), and untreated water supply (AOR, 1.7, 95% CI, 1.1– 2.7, P=0.018) were identified as predictors for the overall STH prevalence.
Conclusion: Our findings revealed STH infections are considerable health problems in the study areas. Thus, public health interventions such as provision of safe water supply, health education, and de-worming programs should be regularly implemented in the study areas.

Keywords: STH, helminths, prevalence, northwest Ethiopia

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