Geophagy as a risk factor for helminth infectious in pregnant women in Lusaka, Zambia

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Shinondo, C. J.
Mwikuma, G.
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Medical journal of zambia
It his been reported that geophagy is closely associated with helminthic diseases and it has been especially linked to Ascarzs and infections among pregnant women.Hither to proof of existence of viable infective ova in geophageal material has been anecdotal. This study was undertaken to determine the possible direct role of geophagy in helminthiases of pregnant women. Eighty-five pregnant women between the ages of 15 and 44 years of age were recruited into the study in order to determined the prevalence of geophagy among pregnant women resident in high a density and low income areas of Lusaka. The study showed that 31,8% of the pregnant women interviewed practised geophagy at the time of the study, and that 71% had a history of deliberate ingestion of soil. The preferences for the soil types were ranked as clay, termite mounds from tree trunks, and soft stone. Some respondents reported a preference for smoked, roasted or baked clay soils. Perceived benefits of geophagy included diminished craving when they ate soil ( 35.2% ), prevention of vomiting and nausea ( 32.4% ), and others ingested soil for the taste (32.4%). Most women-who were interviewed (91.8%) were aware of possible health risks involved in geophagy such as constipation, heartburn, anaemia, coughing, infections with worms, and abdominal discomfort.
Geophagy associated with helminthic diseases
Helminth Infections
Shinondo, C. J. and Mwikuma, G. (2008). Geophagy as a risk factor for helminth infectious in pregnant women in Lusaka, Zambia. Medical journal of zambia.Vol. 35 (2)