Epidemiological study on Intestinal Parasitic Infections among Children attending Day-Care Centers, Quetta, Pakistan

S. ARSHAD, H. HAMIDA, M. NAEEM, S. SADDOZAI, S. RASUL, R. IQBAL

Abstract


Intestinal parasitic infections (IPIs) are globally endemic affecting the health, growth and development of children world-wide including Pakistan. This cross-sectional study aimed to investigate the current epidemiological status of IPIs and identify associated risk factors among children from day-care centers in Quetta, Pakistan. Methods: The study involved pre-structured questionnaire and stool tests to obtain epidemiological and disease data. Stool specimens were collected from 150 children [87 males (58%), 63 females (42%)], aged ≤5 years (3.8±1.6). Data were statistically analyzed using descriptive statistics and univariate logistic regression methods. Specimens were examined for parasitic infections using saline and Lugol’s wet mount preparation and formol-ether concentration technique. Results: The overall prevalence of IPIs was 28.7% (43/150) (95% CI:21.5-35.9). Children infected with single parasite were 22.7% while 6% represented ployparasitism. The prevalence of protozoan parasitic infections were higher 21.3% (32/150) than helminthic infection 15.3% (23/150). The most common parasite was Entamoebahistolytica 14% (21/150), followed by Hymenolepis nana 8.7% (13/150), Giardia lamblia 7.3% (11/150). Other parasites with lower rates of occurrence were Ascarislumbricoides (4.0%), Taeniaspp (1.3%), and Trichuristrichiura (1.3%). Age (OR=3.5;95% CI:1.56 –8.08), Maternal education (OR=2.5;95% CI:1.2-5.2), type of drinking water (treated/untreated) (OR=2.44;95% CI:1.14 –5.26), hand-washing practice (OR=2.19, 95% CI:1.0-4.6), and soil-eating habit (OR=4.5;95% CI:2.0-10.0) were significantly associated with IPIs. However, no significant difference was found with gender and family size (p>0.05). Conclusion: Due to high occurrence of IPIs among children in Quetta day-care centers, the need for screening, deworming programmes, treatment and health education is advocated.


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