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Prevalence and associated risk factors for soil transmitted Helminth infections among Urban Dwellers, Amanuel Town, Northwest Ethiopia

Yirga Enawgaw, Ayalew Sisay, Endalkachew Nibret

Abstract


Infection by soil transmitted helminthes has been increasingly recognized as an important public health problem in poor and developing countries. To initiate prevention and control measures for these neglected diseases, adequate information is required among high risk group. The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence and associated risk factors for soil transmitted helminth infections among urban dwellers in Amanuel, east Gojjam, Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study, involving 403 individuals, was carried out in Amanuel between November 2010 and January 2011. A structured questionnaire and observation for demographic and associated risk factors for soil transmitted helminthes (STHs) infections were used for data collection. Stool samples were collected in plastic containers from each participant and transported to Amanuel Health center for parasitological examination. Both direct wet smear and former-ether sedimentation concentration techniques were used to determine the presence of helminthes eggs. The overall prevalence of STH infections was 46.2% (186/403). Hookworm infection was the predominant soil transmitted helminth infections, which was detected in 77(19.1%) followed by A. lumbricoides which was infected 52(13%) of the study subjects. T. trichuria was the least prevalent geo-helminth infection, detected in only 23 (5.7%) of the study subjects. Majorities, 152(37.7%), had single infection. Double infection occurred in 25(6.2%) of the study subjects and only 9(2.2%) had multiple infection. The prevalence of soil transmitted helminthes was generally high in school age children and low in infants. The common predictors of STH infections in the study, among others, were poor personal hygienic conditions, less frequent wearing shoes habit, soil contacting occupation risk, and lack of hand washing habit after using toilet. On the basis of this result, it can be concluded that STH infection is an important problem among the community of Amanuel town. Therefore, it is recommended that education on personal and environmental hygiene should be taken into account to reduce the prevalence of STH infections. Moreover, school age children and other risk groups should receive regular treatment to control the transmissions of STH infections.

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