RISK FACTORS AND EFFECTS OF HOOKWORM INFECTIONS ON ANTHROPOMETRIC INDICES OF SCHOOL CHILDREN IN SAMARU, ZARIA, NIGERIA

  • H.G. Bishop Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,
  • Z. Azeez Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Natural Sciences, Prince Abubakar Audu University, Aniygba,
  • S.J. Momoh Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,
  • B. Abdullahi Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,
  • A.O. Ujah Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,
  • J. Barwa Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,
  • A.R. Babalola Department of Microbiology, Faculty of Life Sciences, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria,

Abstract

Rural communities in Nigeria suffer a great deal of parasitic infections. The effect is severe on children. Parasitic infections affect the health of schoolchildren by causing malnutrition, anaemia, reduced cognitive ability and poor performance in school. This study was aimed at assessing the prevalence of hookworm infections, associated risk factors and their effects on anthropometric indices of schoolchildren in Samaru, Zaria. Children across public and private schools were enlightened about the disease. Fresh morning faecal samples were collected from each of 203 consented pupils. The samples were examined for hookworm eggs by formol-ether concentration technique. Prevalence of hookworms was 4.9%. Children in four out of seven schools were found with hookworm infections (P=0.000). Children from public schools were significantly more infected with hookworms (7.9%, P=0.050) than those in the private schools. Male schoolchildren had higher hookworm infections (5.8%) than the females (4.7%, P>0.05). The youngest children of age 6-7 years old were the most infected (9.1%); followed by those of 10-11 years old who had 5.8% infections. Children who walked barefooted (6.5%), consumed raw vegetables (5.1%) or engaged in farming (5.3%) were more infected with hookworms than those who did not, but the relationship was not significant (P>0.00). Only fever (3.0%) was found among infected children (P=0.582), other symptoms did not occur among those infected with the hookworms. Children with weight of 39-48kg had the highest infection of 8.0%. Weight, height and BMI were not statistically associated with hookworm infections among the children. However, most of the children (87.2%) had underweight BMI.

Published
2022-06-29
Section
ARTICLES