Author(s): Alemu M, Hailu A, Bugssa G
Introduction: Intestinal Schistosomiasis and Soil transmitted helminthic infections (STIs) are among the major public health problems in the world, especially in Subsaharan Africa. Objective: To determine the prevalence of intestinal schistosomiais and soil transmitted helminthic infections and associated factors among Umolante primary school children, South Ethiopia. Methods: A cross sectional study was conducted among Primary School Children in Umolante Destrict, South Ethiopia. A total of 405 school children were selected at random. For each selected subject interview and stool examination was done. Interviews were used to identify the risk factors. Stool specimens were examined using the Kato-Katz technique. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 16.0 statistical packages software. Results: The overall prevalence of intestinal helminthic infection was 26.9%. The predominant parasites were hookworm 59(14.6%) and S.mansoni 51(12.6%). Prevalence of S.mansoni infection was significantly higher in males (p=0.006) whereas hookworm infection was significantly higher in females (P=0.015). Other helminthes found were E.vermicularis (1%), whipworm (1.5%), tapeworm (1.5%) and A.lumbricoides (0.5%). The highest prevalence of S.mansoni was reported in the age group of 10-14 years (17.8%) followed by the age group 15 and above (11.6%) and the difference was statistically significant (P=0.02). Geometric mean intensity was also highest in the same age group (245 eggs per gram). The overall prevalence of infection was 7.7% for girls and 17.1% for boys and the difference was statistically significant (p=0.006). Bathing practice in the nearby stream was significantly associated with S.mansoni infection (OR, 3.4, 95.0% C.I., 1.5-5.3, P=0.03). Conclusion and recommendation: On the basis of these results, it can be concluded that intestinal helminthic infections are important health problems among school children. Hence, integrated control programme including periodic deworming, shoes wearing, improving sanitation, provision of safe water supply are needed to have a lasting impact on transmission these diseases.