Intestinal parasitic infections: Current status and associated risk factors among school aged children in an archetypal African urban slum in Nigeria.


Department of Molecular Parasitology and Tropical Diseases, School of Medicine, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan; Graduate Institute of Medical Sciences, College of Medicine, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan; Master Program in Global Health and Development, College of Public Health, Taipei Medical University, Taipei, Taiwan. Electronic address: [Email]


OBJECTIVE : Intestinal parasitic infections (IPIs) among school aged children (SAC) in Nigeria remains endemic, hence the need for regular surveillance to attract the attention of policy makers. This cross-sectional study investigated the current prevalence and factors associated with intestinal parasitic infections among school aged children in an urban slum of Lagos City, Nigeria.
METHODS : Single stool samples from 384 school aged children (188 boys and 196 girls) were examined by employing Merthiolate-iodine-formaldehyde concentration (MIFC) and Kato-Katz methods. Demographic characteristics and risk factors were obtained by questionnaires investigation.
RESULTS : The overall prevalence was 86.2% in school children, out of them 39.1% had polyparasitism. IPIs showed the highest to the lowest prevalence of 62% (238/384), 25% (97/384), 12.3% (47/384), 11.8% (45/384), 9.9% (38/384), 8.4% (32/384), 3.4% (13/384), and 0.5% (2/384) found in Ascaris lumbricoides, Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, Giardia duodenalis, Endolimax nana, Entamoeba coli, Trichuris trichiura, Blastocystis hominis, and hookworm infections, respectively. MIFC technique showed superiority to Kato-Katz technique in the detection of IPIs (p < 0.0001). Drinking untreated water was a significant risk factor for these school aged children in acquiring protozoan infections after multivariate adjustment (OR = 1.86, 95% CI = 1.08-3.20, p = 0.02).
CONCLUSIONS : Intestinal parasitic infections are very severe among school aged children in the urban slums, thus regular mass de-worming programs, health education, and the provision of safe drinking water is recommended to combat IPIs among the school aged children.


Intestinal parasitic infections,Nigeria,Prevalence,Risk factors,Schoolchildren,Slum,