Abstract

Prevalence of Soil Transmitted Helminthic Infections among Adolescent Girls in a Residential School of North Coastal Andhra Pradesh

Author(s): Siva Priya Jalakam Venkata1, Devi Madhavi Bhimarasetty2, Phani Madhavi Kajana3

BACKGROUND
Intestinal helminthic infections are endemic worldwide. In developing countries
like India these contribute to a major morbidity among children. Factors like
poverty, lack of proper sanitation, hygiene, illiteracy, hot and humid tropical
climate play a role in the transmission of these infections. Under RMNCH + A (child
health) school children were receiving biannual albendazole in the months of
February and August. We wanted to assess the prevalence of soil transmitted
helminthic infections (STHI) among adolescent school children in a residential
welfare school.
METHODS
A cross-sectional study was conducted in the month of October 2018 in rural field
practice area of the Department of Community Medicine, Andhra Medical College,
Visakhapatnam. The study was done in a residential welfare school for girls in peri
urban areas of Visakhapatnam. The study was done among 96 girls who were
present in the school during the days of survey by using systematic random
sampling after obtaining informed consent. A pretested interview schedule was
used to collect data. Microscopic stool examination for ova / cyst and haemoglobin
estimation was done for all the study subjects. Data was entered in Microsoft Excel
and analysis was done by Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS version
21).
RESULTS
The mean age of the subjects was 13.41 ± 1.07 years, with age ranging from 12
to 15 years. About 19 % (19.8 %) of the study subjects were found to have STHI
on microscopic stool examination. Among them about 68 % of the study subjects
were found to have Ascaris lumbricoides followed by Trichuris trichiura (32 %).
Mean haemoglobin level was 9.73 + 1.06 (g / dl). On statistical analysis, no
significant difference was found between presence of infection and variables like
anaemia (P = 1), open air defecation (P = 0.51), nail biting (P = 1), presence of
symptoms (P = 1) and pica (P = 0.75).
CONCLUSIONS
Helminthic infections burden is still high in the school children.