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Year : 2008  |  Volume : 11  |  Issue : 3  |  Page : 220-224

Worm infestation and anaemia among pre-school children of peasant farmers in Calabar, Nigeria

Department of Paediatrics, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
M U Anah
Department of Paediatrics, University of Calabar Teaching Hospital, Calabar, Nigeria

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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

PMID: 19140358

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BACKGROUND: Worm infection and anaemia are common childhood conditions in Nigeria. We assessed the status of helminthiasis and associated anaemia among pre school children of peasant farmers aged 1-5 years living in a rubber plantation near Calabar, Nigeria. DESIGN: Cross sectional. METHOD: Three hundred and fifty children were selected by multi-stage cluster sampling technique. Freshly passed stool was examined using Kato-Katz method while anaemia was estimated using haematocrit technique. RESULT: Of the 350 children, 174 (49.7%) had intestinal helminths: Ascaris lumbricoides 64.4%, hookworms 10.9% and Trichuris trichuria 1.1%. There were 41(23.6%) children with polyparasitism, 33 of them were due to Ascaris lumbricoides and hookworms. The worm load was generally light in intensity with egg per gram of stool ranging from 24-60,960. Males (28.9%) were infected more than females (20.8%). The frequency of infection increases with age. The prevalence of anaemia among the entire study population and in those infected with worms was 56.6% and 56.9% respectively. With polyparasitism there was a relative increase in the frequency of anaemia females > males. CONCLUSION: Worm infections and anaemia are common in our children. A comprehensive control strategy involving good sanitation, sinking of bore hole for clean water supply and regular deworming exercises are recommended.

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