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.