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Prevalence and risk factors of intestinal parasites among primary school children in Shashamane town, southern Ethiopia

MOJ Public Health
Biniyam Sahiledengle,1 Sharbuddin Beker,2 Yilikal Girum,2 Gemeda Haji,2 Seid Merewo,2 Worksew Anberbir2

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Background: In spite of mass drug administration, in Ethiopia, a significant number of school children infected had an intestinal parasite infection. Investigating factors associated with the prevalence of intestinal parasite infection among school children is indispensable to design appropriate preventive strategies. This study aimed to assess the prevalence of intestinal parasite infection and associated factors among school children in Melka Essa primary school, Shashamane town South Ethiopia.
Methods: A school–based cross–sectional study was employed in south Ethiopia from June 19–30, 2019. Three hundred thirty–three school children were included using a systematic sampling technique. Data were collected using a structured questionnaire and stool–specimen examination for intestinal parasites. Stool samples were collected and processed by direct wet mount and formol–ether concentration techniques for microscopic detection of intestinal parasites. Descriptive statistics were computed. Binary and multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify factors associated with intestinal parasites.
Results: The overall prevalence for at least one intestinal parasite infection was 19.7% (95%CI: 15.3–24.5). Hymenolepsis nana (36.2%), Ascaris lumbricoides (24.1%), Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (12.1%), Giardia lamblia (12.1%), Tinea species (12.1%), and Enterobius Vermicularis (3.4%) were identified. Walking with barefoot [AOR=3.63, 95% CI =1.63– 8.07] and having untrimmed fingernails [AOR=1.95, 95% CI=1.05–3.62] were associated with the presence of intestinal parasite infections. 
Conclusions: Overall, every fifth of the student was infected by intestinal parasites in the present study. Walking with barefoot and having untrimmed fingernails were independent predictors for intestinal parasite infections. Thus, there is a need for consistent health education related to personal hygiene along with routine mass drug administration in the study area.


intestinal parasitic infections, school children, soil–transmitted helminthes, wash, south ethiopia, protozoa, trematodes, nematodes, cestodes, roundworm, whipworm, hookworms, pathogenic, protozoan, factors