Soil-Transmitted Helminths and Associated Factors among Children Less than 15 years in Internally Displaced Persons Camps in Maiduguri Metropolis, Borno State – Northeastern Nigeria, 2018

  • Vector-borne
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Soil-transmitted helminths (STH) affect 1.5 billion people worldwide due to lack of sanitary facilities, safe water, inappropriate waste disposal systems, and low economic status. Nigeria has the highest burden in sub-Saharan Africa with a prevalence of up to 78%. Epidemiological information on the burden of soil STH among internally displaced persons (IDP) is invaluable towards developing preventive and control measures. We conducted a study to determine the prevalence of STHs and assess their associated factors among children less than 15 years of age in IDP camps in Borno State.
We conducted a cross-sectional study in IDP camps in Maiduguri Metropolitan Local Government Area, Borno State, from February to April 2018. Using a multi-stage sampling technique, we selected 361 children. From each child, we collected stool samples and examined microscopically for eggs of STHs using iodine and saline wet mounts after fecal concentration. Using an interviewer-administered questionnaire, we collected socio-demographic and risk factors data. We calculated frequencies and proportions, odds ratios and 95% confidence intervals (CI). Adjusted odds ratios (AOR) were obtained using logistic regression.
The mean age of respondents was 6±3 years. The overall prevalence of STHs was 16.1%. Ascaris lumbricoides was the most common worm accounting for 8.3%, hookworms 6.3% and 1.1% had combined Ascaris lumbricoides and hookworm infection. Playing in dirty or stagnant water (AOR= 2.1, 95% CI= 1.1-4.5) and not washing hands with soap after defecation (AOR= 2.5, 95% CI= 1.3-4.5) were significantly associated with having STHs.
STHs were found to be prevalent among children in IDP camps in Borno. We gave health talks on the benefits of hygiene and offered anti-helminthic drug treatment to every infected child. We recommend that the government should provide potable water, continuous mass drug treatment among children, sanitary facilities, and promote personal hygiene in camps in Borno.

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