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Biography

Buh Amos Wung is currently a research fellow at the University of Buea, Cameroon. He is a service-oriented public health practitioner with six years background in clinical and teaching environments. Core competencies include clinical management of patients, computing, Epi Info, STATA basics and conducting research as well as excellent communication and time management skills. His research interests focus on issues concerning HIV, Tuberculosis and other infectious disease epidemiology and control especially in the context of developing countries; but he is also interested in global research, evaluation of health interventions, and under-taking systematic reviews. He holds a BSc in Nursing and an MPH degree.

Abstract

Background: Access to potable water remains a major challenge particularly in resource-limited settings. Although the potential contaminants of water are varied, enteric pathogenic protozoa are known to cause waterborne diseases greatly. This study aimed at investigating the prevalence, characteristics and correlates of enteric pathogenic protozoa in drinking water sources in Buea, Cameroon.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted using 155 water samples collected from various drinking sources (boreholes, springs, taps and wells). Each sample was subjected to physicochemical examinations (pH, turbidity, odour and sliminess) and parasitological analysis (wet mount, modified Ziehl-Neelsen stain) to determine the presence of enteric pathogenic protozoa. A data collection tool was used to note characteristics of collected samples and the data was analysed using EPI-INFO Version 3.5.3.

Results: The overall prevalence of enteric pathogenic protozoa in water sources was 62.6%. Eight species of enteric protozoa were observed with Cryptosporidium parvum being the most predominant (45.8%). Spring water was the most contaminated source with enteric protozoa (85.7%) while pipe borne water had all eight species of protozoa identified.  A pH of 6 was the only significant factor associated with the prevalence of these pathogens in water sources.

Conclusion: The prevalence of enteric protozoa in water sources in Molyko and Bomaka is high, spring water is the most contaminated water source and Cryptosporidium parvum is the most common protozoa contaminating water. A water pH of 6 is associated to the prevalence of protozoa. Community members need to be educated to treat water before drinking to avoid infection by enteric protozoa in water and further studies with larger samples of water need to be conducted to find other correlates of the presence of protozoa in water.