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Title: Prevalence of intestinal helminth infections among pregnant women attending antenatal clinics at the Kitale District Hospital, Kenya
Authors: Wekesa, Antony Wanyonyi
Keywords: Intestinal helminth infections -- Pregnant women -- Antenatal clinics
Issue Date: Nov-2014
Publisher: Egerton University
Abstract: Intestinal helminth infections with parasites such as Ascaris lumbricoides, Necator americanus, Ancylostoma duodenale and Trichuris trichiura, during pregnancy are associated with adverse outcomes including, poor nutritional status, growth, low birth weight and perinatal mortality. They present major public health problem in developing countries, but the prevalence, intensity and predisposing factors are not adequately documented in many areas of Kenya. The purpose of this study was to determine the prevalence of intestinal helminth infection, their association with maternal haemoglobin levels, and Socio economic factors that predispose pregnant women, to the infection. A hospital based survey was carried out for four months of 2012. A total of 153 pregnant women participated in the study. Stool samples were examined using Kato Katz technique. For each stool sample two Kato slides were prepared and average of the total number of eggs calculated. Haemoglobin levels and eosinophil count were measured using the Coulter counter machine. Socio economic factors that predispose pregnant women to intestinal helminth infection were assessed using a semi structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using SPSS for windows version 16.0. Prevalence of intestinal helminths was analysed using descriptive statistics. Chi-square was used to analyze the association of intestinal helminths infection and maternal haemoglobin level. Bivariate analysis was used to identify socio-economic factors that predispose pregnant women to intestinal helminth infection. Level of statistical significance was chosen at 5% in this study. The overall prevalence of intestinal helminth infection was 21(13.8%). Ascaris lumbricoides was most prevalent parasite 10 (6.5%), Necator americanus 6 (3.9%), Trichuris trichiura 2 (1.3%), Enterobius vermicularis 1(o.7%), A.lumricoides and T.trichiura 2(1.3%). A significant negative association was observed between heavy infection of Necator americanus and low maternal haemoglobin level (P-value 0.013). Pregnant women aged below 29 years had a higher risk of helminth infection (P=0.08) as compared to their older counter parts. Living in permanent house had lesser likelihood of getting helminth infection as compared to those living in semi permanent house (P=0.001). Use of flash toilets had lesser chances of getting helminth infection as compared to pit latrines (P=0.047). The study findings suggested that intestinal helminth infection is prevalent among pregnant women at the Kitale District Hospital. These findings reinforce the need to create public health awareness and screening of all pregnant women for intestinal helminths as part of their routine antenatal care.
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Science

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