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OBJECTIVE: To find out the actual prevalence of parasitic infestations in a community village Budhni of Peshawar, Pakistan.
METHODS: This cross-sectional study was carried out in village Budhni near Peshawar, Pakistan. A sample of 288 children, aged <5 years were randomly selected. Information was collected on the age, gender, feeding and hygiene habits of the mothers and children. Fresh stool sample were collected in sterile bottles for microscopic examination. Data was analyzed statistically using SPSS version 16.
RESULTS: A total of 288 children were included in the study; out of which 175(61%) were males and 113(39%) females. The mean age was 33.8±16.1 months. An overall prevalence of parasitic infestations was 41% (n=117). The most common parasites observed were Giardia lamblia (n=56; 19.4%), Entamoeba histolytica (n=36; 12.5%) and Hymenolepis nana (n=18; 6.3%). Multiple infestations were seen in 19% children. Worm infestation was found more common up to the age of 36 months. Female children were more infected (n=43; 38%) as compared to male children (n=55; 31.4%). Worm infestation increased with the family size, low parental education, non-breast fed, use of drinking water from well and lack of toilet facility. Hand washing practice before feeding/weaning and use of soother by the child have also showed some increased frequency of worm infestation.
CONCLUSION: Prevalence of parasitic infestation is quite high in children, aged <5 years in rural areas of Peshawar. Single as well multiple infestations were found. Lack of education, improper sanitation and drinking water facility play the major role in causing infection.
KEY WORDS: Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic (MeSH); Worm infestation (Non-MeSH); Multiple infestations (Non-MeSH); Giardia lamblia (MeSH); Entamoeba histolytica (MeSH); Hymenolepis nana (MeSH); Ascaris lumbricoides (MeSH); Hymenolepiasis (MeSH); Parasites (MeSH); Rural Population (MeSH)
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