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Prevalence and risk factors associated with intestinal parasitic infestations in the rural pediatric population of Piparia, Gujarat - A hospital-based study

Himani Bhardwaj Pandya, Sucheta J Lakhani, Niraj Pandit, Suguna S Hemachander.


Background: Intestinal parasitic infections have always been an important public health problem in the tropics, particularly in developing countries like India.

Objectives: The objective of this study is to assess the burden, magnitude, risk factors, and patterns of intestinal parasitism in the pediatric population admitted to tertiary care hospital, Vadodara, Gujarat.

Materials and Methods: A total of 101 pediatrics patients of 2-12 years of age group were included in this cross-sectional study. Stool samples were collected and were processed by saline mount and iodine mount. Various risk factors such as socioeconomic status, hand washing, type of drinking water, literacy rate of parents, and malnutrition were analyzed.

Results: The overall prevalence rate of parasitic infestation was 17.8% (18/101). Giardia lamblia (5/18, 27.7%) was the most common parasite followed by Ancylostoma duodenale (4/18, 22.2%), fertilized egg of Ascaris lumbricoides (3/18, 16.6%), Entamoeba histolytica/dispar (2/18, 11.1%), Entamoeba coli (2/18, 11.1%), Hymenolepis nana (1/18, 5.5%), and Taenia species (1/18, 5.5%). While comparing the risk factors, we found that 94.4% infection rate was associated with drinking water directly from open well, 88.8% in those with faulty hand washing, 77.7% of infection was associated with male gender, 72.2% rate in a child whose mother was illiterate and those using open defecation.

Conclusion: Intestinal parasitic infestation is still a cause of morbidity in children; therefore, there is dire need for regular awareness programs on good sanitary and hygienic practices in the rural population. In the era of Swachh Bharat Mission, this is very important indirect monitoring of safe water supply, toilet use, and use of deworming at large scale.

Key words: Children; Intestinal Parasitic Infestation; Risk Factors; Water Improved Sanitation and Adequate Hygiene Behaviors

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