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ORIGINAL ARTICLE
Year : 2013  |  Volume : 16  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 243-248

Intestinal helminthiasis and nutritional status of children living in orphanages in Benin City, Nigeria


1 Institute of Child Health, College of Medicine, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria
2 Department of Community Health, College of Medicine, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State, Nigeria

Correspondence Address:
D U Nwaneri
Institute of Child Health, College of Medicine, University of Benin, Benin City, Edo State
Nigeria
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None


DOI: 10.4103/1119-3077.110144

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Background : Intestinal helminths are often associated with poor growth and reduced physical activities, and may worsen already compromised nutritional status of children living in orphanages. Aims: To determine the relationship between intestinal helminthiasis and nutritional status of children living in orphanages in Benin City, Nigeria. Setting and Design: A cross sectional study carried out from January to April 2011 in orphanages in Benin City, Nigeria. Materials and Methods: Fresh stool samples from 140 children (0-17 years) living in 10 orphanages in Benin City, were analyzed using the Kato-Katz technique for the detection of ova of helminths between January and April 2011. Physical growth of the children was classified as stunted, wasted, and under-weight using height for age Z-score, weight for height Z-score, and weight for age Z-score below -2 standard deviation of the reference median, respectively, in the World Health Organization growth chart. Statistical Analysis: The data obtained was entered into spread sheet using the Microsoft Excel 2007 and the analysis was done using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) software versions 11.0 and 16.0 (SPSS Inc Chicago, IL, USA). Results: Prevalence of intestinal helminthiasis was 20.7% and was observed highest in children aged 12-17 years. Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura were the intestinal helminths isolated. Nearly all infected subjects had significant stunted growth ( P = 0.014) and another one-quarter were significantly under-weight ( P = 0.021) when compared with noninfected subjects. Conclusion: Intestinal helminthiasis is associated with under-weight and stunted growth.


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