Intestinal helminthiasis in children in a suburb of Lagos, Nigeria: Evaluation of risk factors and habits

CK Onwuamah, JO Okwuzu, N Idika, E Meshack, T Gbajabiamilaa



Various risk factors have been known to predispose children to intestinal helminths infections. We evaluated the impact of multisectoral risk factors on infection prevalence in school children using questionnaire and stool examination.
Pupils’ hawking habits, schools, classes, antihelminthic prophylaxis, parents’ occupation and mothers’ educational status were the significant risk factors identified. Logistic regression identified four of the aforementioned factors, age, sex, disposal of excreta and/or septic tanks overflow into open drainages as factors influencing prevalence in this population. Irregular deworming probably reduced the effect of prophylactic use of antihelminthic on prevalence. Hawkers (odds ratio = 3.78) and pupils living in faeces contaminated environs were identified as at risk groups.
Public enlightenment campaigns on worms’ infestation control strategies, including the reduction of environmental contamination with faeces should reduce intestinal helminthiasis in these children.

African Journal of Clinical Experimental Microbiology Vol. 8 (2) 2007: pp. 107-113