Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Infections and Transmission Risk Factors in Primary School Children in Mbeere North Sub-County, Embu County, Kenya

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Samuel Kamonge
Lucy Kamau
Ngethe Muhoho


Intestinal parasitic infections (IPI) such as soil transmitted helminths (STH) and protozoa can cause diverse negative effects on human health. The prevalence of IPI in primary school children in Mbeere North sub-county in Embu County is not documented, though there are many cases reported in health centers in the area. The aim of this study was to establish the current prevalence of IPIs in primary school children in Mbeere North sub-county and the factors that perpetuate transmission which is necessary for implementation of suitable control programs in the study area. The study was done among primary school children from nine public schools. Three schools per administrative ward were randomly selected to represent each of the three administrative wards. A total of 414 pupils whose parents/guardians gave informed consent participated in the study, 46 pupils per school. Each participant provided a thumb size of early morning stool. The stool samples were processed by Formol-ether concentration technique and direct wet preparation methods for microscopic identification of intestinal parasites. A structured questionnaire was used to collect data on age, sex, sanitation and hygiene practices. The overall point prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections amongst the pupils was 43%. Chi-square (χ²) test was done to determine the relationship between prevalence and the pupils’ age and sex. There was no significant association between prevalence and sex (χ² = 0.184, P = 0.668, df = 1) but a significant association was found between prevalence and age where children 11 years and below were more pre-disposed than those above 11 years old (χ² =4.770, P=0.043, df =1). Similarly, a significant association was found between water source and prevalence of IPI; the parasites infection prevalence decreased when tap water was used and increased when open surface water was used (F = 6.15, P = 0.006). From this study, it is clear that IPIs particularly E. histolytica are a problem in primary school children in Mbeere North Sub-County. There is an urgent need for provision of safe domestic water in the county. Additionally, community education on sanitation and IPI transmission risk factors is urgently required. The information generated in this study is beneficial to the public health service in designing control strategies for areas of high transmission.

Intestinal Parasitic Infections (IPI), Soil Transmitted Helminths (STH), children, Kenya

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How to Cite
Kamonge, S., Kamau, L., & Muhoho, N. (2020). Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Infections and Transmission Risk Factors in Primary School Children in Mbeere North Sub-County, Embu County, Kenya. International Journal of Pathogen Research, 4(3), 1-7.
Original Research Article


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