Risk Factors Associated with Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Infections among Schoolchildren in Amran City, Yemen
Background: Intestinal parasitic infections are a significant health problem in Yemen primarily affecting school children.
Aims: This cross-sectional study aimed to determine the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infection and their associated factors among schoolchildren in Amran town, Yemen.
Methods: Stool samples were collected from 360 schoolchildren aged between 6- 15 years old in the period from December 2021 to March 2022. Stool samples were processed and examined microscopically using direct wet-mount and formal-ether concentration techniques. All required data of study subjects were collected by a structured questionnaire. Data were statistically analyzed by SPSS and P-value < 0.05 was taken as statistically significant.
Results: Of 360 schoolchildren examined for intestinal parasites, 273 (75.83 %) were positive for at least one parasite. The prevalence rate of Entameba histolytica was the highest (60.8%) followed by Giardia lamblia (25.8), Hymenolepis nana (5.8%), and Schistosoma mansoni (2.5%), and Enterobius vermicular (0.8%). In addition, there was a significant association between intestinal parasitic infection and governorate schools (P= 0.010), female (P= 0.000), age groups of 6-10 years (P= 0.009), whose fathers uneducated (P=0.005), drinking untreated water (P= 0.026), eating of washed vegetables and unwashed fruits (P˃0.05), unwashed their hands after defecation (P= 0.047), non-cutting their nails (P= 0.000). Moreover, it was found that there was no significant association between the prevalence rate of intestinal parasitic infection and clinical symptoms including blood in stool, fever, cough, muscle pain, itch skin, and weight loss (P˃0.05). The rates of single, double, and triple parasitic infections were 75%, 22.5%, and 2.5%, respectively.
Conclusion: This finding indicated that intestinal parasitic infections are still a public health problem in Yemen. Therefore, it demands promoted health education, improving personal hygiene practices, avoiding drinking untreated water, and eating raw vegetables and fruits are guaranteed to reduce parasitic infections.