PREVALENCE OF INTESTINAL PARASITES AMONG CHILDREN ATTENDING DAYCARE AND ORPHANAGE CENTERS IN KADUNA METROPOLIS, KADUNA
Intestinal parasites are globally endemic, affecting the health, growth and development of children world-wide. Daycare and Orphanage centres are some of the environments where children are potentially exposed to infections. This study was aimed at determining the prevalence of intestinal parasites among children in some daycare and Orphanage centres in Kaduna metropolis, Kaduna state, Nigeria, in order to assess the sanitary conditions under which these children are maintained. Stool samples were collected from 305 children (155 males and 150 females), age range 0 months to 6 years in 6 daycare centers. The samples were examined macroscopically and then microscopically for parasitic infections using visual observations and wet mount and concentration techniques. Overall prevalence of intestinal parasites in the study was 9.2%. The protozoan identified were Entamoeba coli 4 (1.6%), Entamoeba histolytica 2 (0.7%), Giardia lamblia 1 (0.3%) and Taenia Saginata 1(0.3%). The helminthes identified were Ascaris lumbricoides 1(0.3%), Hookworms 11(3.6%), Trichuris trichuria 2 (0.7%) and strongyloides stercoralis 5 (1.6%). The infections rates were highest among age group 2 – 3 years, 18 (14.3%). The differences among age and sex related intestinal parasite infections rates were statistically significant (p>0.5). Poor sanitation and domestic hygiene, bad eating habits and general ignorance of the diseases were identified as the predisposing factors to intestinal parasite infections in the study area. These results can be a catalyst for ministry of Health and KEPA to pay special attention to intestinal parasites infections among children in daycare and Orphanage centres in Kaduna metropolis, Kaduna State. Furthermore, intervention curriculums and teaching of children and environmental hygiene must be taken into consideration to prevent and control intestinal parasites infections in their area.