Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Infestation among Pre-school Children in Skardu, Pakistan
Background: World Health Organization (WHO) reports that around 270 million pre-school children and over six hundred million school children are likely to be infested with one or more types of the intestinal worms. The helminthic infestations are indicators of the low socioeconomic status, lack of education, lack of good hygienic conditions and inaccessibility to potable water. Our study aimed to estimate prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among 1 to 5 years old children residing in the district Skardu of Gilgit Baltistan, Pakistan.
Methods: A descriptive, cross-sectional study was carried out on pre-school children of the district Skardu from August 2016 to January 2017. A sample of 300 children was obtained using non-probability convenience sampling technique. Demographical data was obtained through the structured questionnaire. The stool sample was collected and examined for intestinal parasites. The data was analysed using SPSS.
Results: The prevalent intestinal helminths were found to be Ascaris Lumbricoides, Cryptosporidium , Hymenolepis Nana and Giardia with proportion of 22.33% , 14.0% , 9.3% and 8.0% respectively in our study population. 85% children of the sample belonged to low or lower middle socio-economic (SE) groups; correspondingly, increased prevalence of intestinal helminthic infestation was noted in the same SE groups.
Conclusion: A high prevalence of these parasitic infections have been found in the children in Sakardu, which increases with age as the children start eating by themselves.
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