Prevalence, intensity and factors associated with soil transmitted helminths infection among children in Chililabombwe District, Copperbelt Province, Zambia: Cross sectional study

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Tembo, Sibongile
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The University of Zambia
Soil transmitted helminths (STH) are among the Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) of Poverty. They are a common type of parasitic infections in the world, caused by three main species commonly known as roundworms, whipworms and hookworms. This study investigated the prevalence, intensity and factors associated with soil transmitted helminths among children in Chililabombwe district of Zambia. The study was conducted between October and December, 2017. A cross sectional design was used, consisting of 411 guardian – child pairs. A questionnaire and checklist was used to collect data on factors associated with helminth infection. Stool samples were collected and examined for presence of parasites using formal-ether concentration and Kato Katz techniques. Geometric mean was used to report intensity of infection. Bivariate and multivariate logistic regression was used to determine factors associated with worm infestations. An investigator led stepwise regression was used to identify factors associated with developing STH infection and level of significance was set at 0.05. Prevalence of soil transmitted helminth infection was 14.4% and the most dominant parasite was round worms (14.1%). The overall intensity of infection was light (<5000epg) with a few heavy infections (>50000epg). Factors independently associated with soil transmitted helminth infection after adjusting for other variables were residence (AOR=0.26; 95% CI [0.09-0.73]), household income (AOR=2.49; 95% CI [1.01-6.12]) and overcrowding (AOR =1.33; 95% CI [1.09-1.62]). This indicates that reinfection is common even after deworming. Hence policy makers should advocate for improved living conditions in urban areas coupled with reduced household overcrowding. Key Words: Soil transmitted helminths, Ascaris lubricoides, Trichuris trichiura, Hookworms, Intensity, Neglected tropical diseases of poverty, Zambia
Soil transmitted helminths --Zambia , Ascaris lubricoides , Trichuris trichiura , Neglected Tropical Diseases