Prevalence and Risk Factors Associated with Worm Infestation in Pre-school Children (6-23 months) in Selected Blocks of Uttar Pradesh and Jharkhand, India|
Awasthi,, S.; Verma, T.; Kotecha, P.V.; Venkatesh, V.; Joshi, V. & Roy, S.
Background :Intestinal worm infestation is widely prevalent in developing countries and can result in impaired nutrition and development.
Aims: To estimate prevalence of and risk factors for intestinal geohelminths and other intestinal parasites in children aged 6 to 23 months.
Settings and Design: Cross sectional study in rural India.
Materials and Methods: Proportionate population size sampling method was used to randomly select 15 villages per block. Thereafter, house-to-house survey was done to recruit eligible children and obtain fecal sample for microbiological examination.
Statistical Analysis: Univariate distribution of variables was assessed and comparison between categorical variables and continuous variables was done using a Chi-square test and student′s t-test, respectively. Odds ratio was calculated to assess associations.
Results: Overall 926 children were recruited and 909 fecal samples examined. Combined prevalence of infestation with intestinal geohelminths treatable by albendazole and other intestinal parasites non-treatable by albendazole was 50.3% (457/909) and 51.6% (469/909), respectively. Exclusive use of hand pump water (OR = 1.79, CI = 1.36-2.35, P < 0.001) and use of hand pump water plus field defecation increased risk of geohelminthic infection (OR = 1.75 CI = 1.34-2.30, P < 0.001) while use of well water (OR = 0.45 CI= 0.33-0.60, P < 0.001) and exclusive use of soap and water practice for hand washing after defecation was protective (OR = 0.54, CI = 0.40-0.73, P < 0.001).
Conclusion: Since almost half the children are infected with intestinal geohelminths treatable by albendazole, targeted deworming of population in this age group should be considered.
Hand pump, infant and pre-school children, risk-factors, rural India, worm infection, worm prevalence