Journal Article

Anaemia and Intestinal Parasitic Infections Among School Age Children in Behera Governorate, Egypt

F. Curtale, M. Nabil, A. El Wakeel, M. Y. Shamy and Behera Survey Team

in Journal of Tropical Pediatrics

Volume 44, issue 6, pages 323-328
Published in print December 1998 | ISSN: 0142-6338
Published online December 1998 | e-ISSN: 1465-3664 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/tropej/44.6.323
Anaemia and Intestinal Parasitic Infections Among School Age Children in Behera Governorate, Egypt

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Anaemia is considered a serious public health problem in Egypt, although updated population-based data are lacking. Similarly, data on prevalence and intensity of infection with intestinal parasites, which are considered one possible cause of anaemia, are available only from small, unrepresentative sample surveys. The present research was implemented on an entire Governorate representative sample. The aim of the study was to assess the prevalence of anaemia and intestinal parasites in the area and to evaluate the role of each parasite in the epidemiology of anaemia among school age children. At the end of the survey, results of faecal analyses from direct smear and the Kato-Katz examination techniques were available from 1844 and 1783 children respectively, as well as haemoglobin levels measured by spectrophotometer from 1238 children aged 6–12 years. The prevalence of anaemia in the area was high (90 per cent), but very few serve forms were detected (>2 per cent). Prevalence of intestinal parasites was high only for protozoa (Giardia intestinalis 24.7 percent Entamoeba histolytica 17.5 percent) and Schistosoma mansoni (20.7 per cent). From analysis of the results, Fasciola infection appeared to be highly endemic, even among children (3 per cent), and emerged as the factor most strongly correlated with low levels of haemoglobin (p>0.0001). The effect of Fasciola on haemoglobin levels was related to the intensity of infection with this parasite. The role of S. mansoni as a risk factor for anaemia was supported by the present study. Among the protozoa, G. intestinalis was significantly correlated with low haemoglobin levels (p>0.05). The present results substantiated similar findings from smaller studies. In future research, the relationship between Fasciola infection and anaemia needs to be studied with a well-controlled longitudinal design.

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Subjects: Paediatrics ; Antitrust Issues and Policies

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