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Open Access Research article

A 6 year Geohelminth infection profile of children at high altitude in Western Nepal

Chiranjay Mukhopadhyay1*, Godwin Wilson2, Kiran Chawla3, Binu VS4 and PG Shivananda5

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Microbiology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Karnataka, India

2 Laboratory medicine and pathology, Al-Khor Hospital, Hamad Medical Corporation, Doha, Qatar

3 Department of Microbiology, Kasturba Medical College, Manipal University, Karnataka, India

4 Department of Statistics, Manipal University, Karnataka, India

5 Department of Microbiology, Sikkim Manipal Institute of Medical Sciences, Gangtok, Sikkim, India

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BMC Public Health 2008, 8:98  doi:10.1186/1471-2458-8-98

Published: 27 March 2008

Abstract

Background

Geohelminth infections are a major problem of children from the developing countries. Children with these infections suffer from developmental impairments and other serious illnesses. This study aimed to measure the prevalence of geohelminth infection, infection intensity as well as the change in the intensity in children from Western Nepal over years.

Methods

This 6-year hospital based prospective study at the Manipal Teaching Hospital, Pokhara included children (< 15 years) visiting the hospital from Kaski and 7 surrounding districts. Samples were also collected from children in the community from different medical camps. Three stool samples from every child were processed using direct and concentration methods. The Kato-Katz technique was used for measuring the intensity of infection.

Results

The overall prevalence in hospital - attending children was 9.2% with 7.6% in preschool (0 – 5 y) and 11.0% in school-age (6 – 15 y) children, and in community 17.7% with 14.8% in pre-school and 20.5% in school-age children. Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, Ancylostoma deodenale and Strongyloides stercoralis were the common geohelminths with a gradual decrease in worm load over the years. School-age children were found to be significantly more prone to geohelminth infection as compared to preschool children, but no statistical difference was detected by gender, district as well as season.

Conclusion

This heavy infection of geohelminths in children should be corrected by appropriate medication and maintaining strict personal hygiene. Health education, clean water, good sewage management and a congenial environment should be ensured to minimise infection.