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International Journal of Entomology and Nematology

Vol. 5(2), pp. 128-134, June, 2019. © www.premierpublishers.org. ISSN: 2326-7262

Research Article

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis

among Students of Government Day Secondary School Gidan
Igwe Area, Sokoto State, Nigeria
1BALA, Aminu Yabo, 2MOHAMMED, Abdullahi Oladimeji, *3MUHAMMAD, Imrana Arzika
Department of Biological Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto, Sokoto State, Nigeria

Despite efforts and interventions to control Soil-transmitted Helminths infections, World Health
Organization estimated 70.0% school aged children worldwide at risk of infection with at least one
Soil-transmitted Helminths species, with 22% occurring in Africa; Soil-transmitted Helminths
infections therefore still remain prevalent especially in developing countries. An epidemiological
study was conducted to determine the prevalence and associated risk factors of Soil-transmitted
helminthiasis among Students of Government Day Secondary School Gidan Igwe Area, Sokoto
State, Nigeria. A total of 90 faecal samples were collected and analyzed using wet preparation
method to detect the ova of soil-transmitted helminths. Information on risk factors of STHs was
obtained from the students through a structured questionnaire. Binary Logistic Regression was
used to determine the risk factors of Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis in the study area. Out of the
90 faecal samples examined, 54(60.0%) were found to be infected with at least one species of
STHs or the other. Species of STHs encountered during the study in order of occurrence were;
Ascaris lumbricoides (35.56%), Trichuris trichiura (16.67%), and Hookworm (7.77%). Results of
Binary Logistic Regression indicated being 11-16 years old, farming activity, using well as a
source of drinking water, walking barefooted, and not washing hands before and after meals as
the major risk factors for the spread of soil-transmitted helminthiasis among the students.
Therefore, public health attention is highly needed to control soil-transmitted helminthiasis
among the study subjects in the area.

Key words: Epidemiology, Prevalence, geohelminthiasis, Students, Nigeria.

Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) are parasites that are East Asia (WHO, 2019).Soil-transmitted helminthiasis is
transmitted by soil contamination of food or drinking water. endemic in all regions of Africa and its public health
Infection and transmission of such helminths are importance has been described by many researchers in
propagated by poor hygienic habit such as indiscriminate Nigeria (Opara et al., 2012; Auta et al., 2014; Muhammad
disposal of human and animal faeces. Three species are et al., 2018) and in other parts of the world (Cha et
the main species responsible for widespread of the al.,2017; Campbell et al., 2017; Samuel et al., 2017;
diseases in human and these include Ascaris Ziegelbauer et al., 2012).
lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura and Hookworm (Necator
americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale) (Ojurongbe, Estimate has shown that there are 807 million cases
2013). infected with Ascaris lumbricoides (ascariasis), 604 million
cases due to Trichuris trichiura (trichuriasis), and 576
Soil-transmitted helminthiasis have been among the major million cases with Hookworm infection (Necator
chronic parasitic infections distributed throughout the
world. Globally, about 4.5 billion individuals are at risk and *Corresponding Author: MUHAMMAD, Imrana Arzika,
more than 2 billion people are infected, of which about 450 Department of Biological Sciences, Usmanu Danfodiyo
million suffer from the infection at school-age (WHO, University Sokoto, Nigeria. Tel: +234(0) 8065628145
2014). The greatest number of soil-transmitted helminths
Email: imranamuhammad40@gmail.com
infections occur in sub-Saharan Africa, the Americas and

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis among Students of Government Day Secondary School Gidan Igwe Area, Sokoto State, Nigeria
Bala et al. 129

anericanus and Ancylostoma duodenale) (Hotez et 13.6152400 North and longitude 5.20730860 East. The
al.,2008). These parasitic infections caused about 4.98 school was established in 2006 and currently having a total
million years lives with disability (Pullan et al., 2010). As a of 1,046 students (Junior Secondary School (JSS) and
result, about 300 million people suffer from severe Senior Secondary School (SSS) included). The
morbidity attributed to STHs infections, resulting in 10,000- predominant tribe attending the school are Hausa-Fulani
135,000 death annually (WHO, 2014). with other tribes like Yoruba, Igbo, and other minority tribes
that live within the area. The main occupation of the people
Soil-transmitted helminth infections are a major health where the school is located includes farming, fishing,
problem of children from rural areas of developing trading, as well as few civil servants.
countries and it is an important cause of morbidity in
school-age children, especially primary school pupils (4-15 Study Population and Sample Size Determination
years) who were reported to be the highest prevalent and
parasitized (Aboyaet al., 2011). Over 270 million The study was conducted to determine the prevalence and
preschool-aged and over 600 million school-aged children risk factors of soil-transmitted helminth infection among
live in areas where these parasites are actively Students of Government Day Secondary School Gidan
transmitted. The total lost years of schooling due to worm Igwe Area, Sokoto State, Nigeria. A total of 90 students
associated absenteeism amount to over 200 million years were selected, fifteen from each arm (JSS1 to SS 3). The
and average Intelligent Quotient (IQ) loss per worm sample size was calculated using the single proportion
infection is 3.75 points amount to Intelligent Quotient loss formula N= Z2pq/d2 at 95% confidence interval, P=
of 633 million points in low and middle income countries prevalence from a previous study conducted by Campbell
where toilet facilities and portable drinking water are et al. (2013), where they recorded a prevalence of 6.3%.
lacking (WHO, 2014).More so, inadequate water supply,
overcrowding, lack of sanitation, unavailability and high Ethical Consideration
cost of anthelminthic drugs are important determinants for
the transmission of soil-transmitted helminths infections The research was approved by Ministry of Health Sokoto
(Bethony et al., 2006). Mere observation of the school State and the School Management of Government Day
premises will reveal that the source of drinking water for Secondary School Gidan Igwe, Sokoto State, Nigeria.
everyday need in the school is an open water reservoir Principal of the school obtained informed consent from
where students had to use buckets from toilet for fetching parents/guardians of the students. Also, consent was
water directly from the reservoir. Most of the students can obtained from the students selected for the study after
be seen playing football in the school premises barefooted explaining the purpose, procedure, possible risk and
and use their soiled hands to eat without washing. inconveniences of the study. The participating students
Because of the aforementioned, there is need to determine were guided on how to fill the questionnaire with the help
the risk factors of STHs in the study area. from their teachers. Students were not forced to participate
in the study, rather they can drop at any stage of the study.
Therefore, this study was designed to investigate the
prevalence and risk factors of soil-transmitted Sample Collection
helminthiasis among Students of Government Day
Secondary School Gidan Igwe Area in Sokoto State, A total of 90 faecal samples were collected from the
Nigeria, and to proffer possible solutions and Students of GDSS Gidan Igwe, Sokoto State. Fifteen (15)
recommendations on their prevention and control. The samples were collected from each arm (JSS 1 to SS 3).
research also will serve as baseline data for future The students were selected randomly and each was given
research as there was on research conducted on soil- a clean, dry, sterile universal container to provide their
transmitted helminthiasis in the study area. stool sample. The stool samples were labelled to
correspond with the student’s number on the
questionnaire. The samples were preserved using 10%
MATERIALS AND METHODS formalin and were immediately transported to Parasitology
Laboratory Usmanu Danfodiyo University Sokoto for
Study Area analysis.

The study was carried out from April to September, 2018 Questionnaire Administration
at Government Day Secondary School Gidan Igwe,
located in Sokoto North Local Government, Girabshi road, Questionnaire was administered to each participating
Sokoto State, Nigeria. Sokoto State has an elevation of student from whom sample was collected. The
450m (1,476 ft) and is located in dry Sahel with an annual questionnaire was aimed at obtaining information such as
average rainfall of 629 mm and annual average student’s age, parental occupation, type facility used,
temperature of 28.30C. Over Eighty percent of the walking barefooted, hand washing before and after meal,
inhabitants of the state are farmers practicing one form of and source of drinking water. All these were done with the
farming or the other.The school is located at latitude permission of the Principal of the school.

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis among Students of Government Day Secondary School Gidan Igwe Area, Sokoto State, Nigeria
Int. J. Entomol. Nematol. 130

Parasitological Analysis of Stool Samples prevalence (26.66%). Occurrence of soil-transmitted

helminthiasis significantly associate with parental
The stool samples were analyzed using direct occupation (χ2cal=15.58, df=3; χ2 tab= 7.82; P<0.05) Table
saline/iodine wet preparation method (WPM) as described 4.
by (Alli et al., 2011). The preparation was observed under
microscope using ×10 and ×40 objectives respectively. The results of this study indicated significant association of
The adult worm or ova of soil-transmitted helminths soil-transmitted helminthiasis with source of drinking water
parasites was identified based on standard chart provided (χ2cal=8.70, df= 3; χ2 tab= 7.82; P<0.05). (Table 5).
by (WHO, 2004).
It could be seen from table 6 that students who use open
Statistical Data Analysis space to defecate had the highest prevalence (65.45%),
followed by those who used pit latrine (53.3%), while those
Prevalence was calculated using the formula: (Number that used water closet had the least prevalence (40.0%).
infected/ Number Examined) ×100. Chi square (χ2) Chi square analysis indicated lack of significant associate
statistical analysis was used corrected with Fisher exact between occurrence of soil-transmitted helminthiasis and
test to determine the association of occurrence of soil- type of toilet used (χ2cal=2.06, df= 2; χ2 tab=5.99; P>0.05).
transmitted helminth infection with class, age, parental The occurrence of soil-transmitted helminths parasites
occupation, source of drinking water, type of toilet used, significantly associates with wearing of shoe. Students that
wearing of shoe, and hand washing before and after meal. wear shoe sometime had the highest prevalence
P-values less 0.05 were considered significant. Data (79.24%), followed by those who always wear shoe
collected were summarized into tables. Data were (32.4%), but no prevalence was reported for students who
analyzed using Epi Info Software version do not wear shoe at all (χ2cal= 9.88, df= 2; χ2 tab= 5.99;
P<0.05) Table 7. Chi square statistical analysis revealed
no significant association in the occurrence of soil-
RESULTS transmitted helminth infection with hand washing before
eating, although students who wash their hands before
The results of the global prevalence of soil-transmitted eating had higher prevalence (76.19%) than those who do
helminths parasites among students of Government Day not wash their hands before eating (55.07%) (χ2cal= 3.15,
Secondary School Gidan Igwe Area of Sokoto State shows df=1; χ2 tab=3.84; P>0.05) Table 7. It could be seen from
that out of 90 stool samples examined, 54(60.00%) were table 7 that students who do not wash their hands after
found to be infected . The parasites encountered during meal had higher prevalence (88.23%) than those who
the study in order of occurrence were Ascaris lumbricoides wash their hands after meal (53.4%), statistical analysis
(32/90: 33.56%), Trichuris trichiura (15/90: 16.67%) and indicated significant association between occurrence of
Ancylostomids (Ancylostoma duedenale/Necator soil-transmitted helminthiasis with respect to hand
americanus (7/90: 7.7%) washing after meal (χ2cal=7.21,df=1; χ2 tab=3.84; P<0.05).

It can be seen from table 2, that the prevalence of Soil- Table 1: Prevalence of Soil-transmitted helminth
transmitted helminthiasis was highest among JSS1 parasites among Students of GDSS Gidan Igwe
Students (80.0%), followed by JSS 3 students (66.67%),
SS 1 and SS 2 students had same prevalence (53.3%), Parasite Frequency Prevalence (%)
while SS 3 students recorded the least prevalence Ascaris lumbricoides 32 35.56
(33.33%). Chi square analysis indicated no significant Trichuris trichiura 15 16.67
association between occurrence of soil-transmitted Hookworm 7 7.77
helminthiasis and student’s class (χ2 cal= 9.3, df= 5; χ2 tab Total 54 54(60.00)
= 11.07; P>0.05). Table 2.
Table 2: Prevalence of Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis
There was an increase in prevalence of soil-transmitted among Students of GDSS Gidan Igwe in relation to
helminths infection with increasing age. Students aged 11- their Classes
13 years had the highest prevalence (74.29%), followed by
those aged 14.16 years (70.0%) while those aged 17-19 Classes No. Examined No. Infected Prevalence (%)
years had the least prevalence (28.0%). There is JSS 1 15 12 80
significant association in the occurrence of soil-transmitted JSS 2 15 10 66.67
helminthiasis with age of the students (χ2cal = 14.94, df=2; JSS 3 15 11 73.33
χ2 tab= 5.99; P<0.05) Table 3. SS 1 15 8 53.33
It could be seen from table 4 that students whose parent SS 2 15 8 53.33
engage in farming activities recorded the highest SS 3 15 5 33.33
prevalence (87.50%), followed by those whose parents Total 90 54 60
were businessmen (43.33%), children of fishermen χ2 cal= 9.3, df = 5; χ2tab = 11.07; P>0.05
(40.0%), while children of civil servants recorded the least

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis among Students of Government Day Secondary School Gidan Igwe Area, Sokoto State, Nigeria
Bala et al. 131

Table 3: Prevalence of Soil-transmitted Helminths Table 6: Prevalence of Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis

Parasites among Students of GDSS Gidan Igwe with among Students of GDSS Gidan Igwe with respect to
respect to Age Type of Toilet Used
Age No. A. Lumbri- T. Hook- Total (%) Type No. A. Lumbri- T. Hook Total
Examined coides trichiura worm of Examined coides trichiura worm (%)
(%) (%) (%) Toilet (%) (%) (%)
11-13 55 (61.11) 15(42.86) 7(20.00) 4(11.43) 26(74.29) Pit 30 10 5 1 16
14-16 30 (33.33) 12(40.00) 6(20.00) 3(10.00) 21(70.00) Latrine (33.33) (33.33) (16.67) (3.33) (53.30)
17-19 25 (27.78) 5(20.00) 2(8.00) 0(0.00) 7(28.00) Water 5 2 0 0 2
Total 90 32 (35.56) 15 7 (7.77) 54 (60.00) Closet (5.55) (40.00) (0.00) (0.00) (40.00)
(16.67) Open 55 20 10 6 36
χ2cal = 14.94, df=2; χ2tab= 5.99; P<0.05 Space (61.11) (36.36) (18.18) (10.91) (65.45)
Total 90 32 15 7 54
Table 4: Prevalence of Soil-transmitted Helminths (35.56) (16.67) (7.77) (60.00)
Parasites among Students of GDSS Gidan Igwe with χ2cal=2.06, df= 2; χ2tab=5.99; P>0.05
respect to Parental Occupation
Parental No. A. T. Hook Total Table 7: Prevalence of Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis
Occupation Examined lumbri- trichiura worm (%)
among Students of GDSS Gidan Igwe with respect to
coides (%) (%)
Wearing of shoe, Hand washing before meal and Hand
Farmers 40 (44.44) 24 7(17.50) 4 35 washing after meal
(60.00) (10.00) (87.50) Parameter No. No. Prevalence
Fishermen 5 (5.56) 0(0.00) 1(20.00) 1 2 Examined Infected (%)
(20.00) (40.00) Wearing of Shoe
Civil 15 (16.67) 2 2(13.33) 0 4 Always 37(41.11) 12 32.43
Servants (13.33) (0.00) (26.66) Sometimes 53(58.89) 42 79.24
Businessmen 30 (33.33) 6 5 (16.66) 2 13 Not at all 0(0.00) 0 0
(20.00) (6.66) (43.33) Total 90 54 60.00
Total 90 32 15 7 54 Χ2cal= 19.88,
(35.56) (16.67) (7.77) (60.00) df=2; X2
χ2cal=15.58, df =3; χ2tab= 7.82; P<0.05 tab=5.99; P<0.05
Washing hands
Table 5: Prevalence of Soil-transmitted Helminths before meal
Parasites among Students of GDSS Gidan Igwe with Yes 21(23.33) 16 76.19
respect to Source of Drinking Water No 69(76.67) 38 55.07
Source No. A. T. Hookworm Total Total 90 54 60.00
of Examined lumbri- trichiura (%) (%) Χ2cal= 3.15, df=1;
Drinking coides (%) X2 tab=3.84;
Water (%) P>0.05
Well 45 18 11 4 33 Washing hands
Water (50.00) (40.00) (24.44) (8.89) (73.33) after meal
Tap 25 9 3 2 14 Yes 73(81.11) 39 53.42
Water (27.78) (36.00) (12.00) (8.00) (56.00) No 17(18.89) 15 88.23
River 0 0 0 0 0 Total 90 54 60.00
Water (0.00) (00.00) (0.00) (0.00) (0.00)
Χ2cal= 7.21, df=1;
Sachet 20 5 1 1 7
X2 tab= 3.84;
Water (22.22) (25.00) (5.00) (5.00) (35.00)
Total 90 32 15 7 54
(35.56) (16.67) (7.77) (60.00)
χ2cal=8.70, df = 3; χ2tab= 7.82; P<0.05

DISCUSSION et al., (2018) all in Sokoto State, Nigeria and 6.30% by

Campbell et al., (2017) in Cameroon. However, the
The results of this study demonstrated the presence of prevalence is lower than 74.0% reported by Singh and Idris
soil-transmitted helminthiasis among Students of (2014) among boarding school children in Sokoto State,
Government Secondary School Gidan Igwe with a Nigeria. The prevalence could be attributed to engaging in
prevalence of 60.00%.The prevalence of 60.0% obtained farming activities, using well as a source of drinking water,
in this study seems to be higher than 1.40% reported by and walking barefooted during which they may get infected
Isyaku et al., (2015) and 33.50% reported by Muhammad with the infective stages of soil-transmitted helminths

Prevalence and Risk Factors of Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis among Students of Government Day Secondary School Gidan Igwe Area, Sokoto State, Nigeria
Int. J. Entomol. Nematol. 132

parasites. .The high prevalence of Ascaris lumbricoides The lack of significant association of soil-transmitted
(35.56%) in this study might be due to walking barefooted helminthiasis with type of toilet used indicated that
by the students and the ability of the parasites to produce regardless of the place of defecation all students are
numerous eggs which can remain viable for a long period equally expose to helminthic infection. This agrees with the
of time. This is in accordance with findings in Sokoto State report of Isyaku et al., (2015) and Muhammad et al.,
(Singh and Idris 2014; Adeyaba 2011) and in other part of (2018), who also noted similar lack of significant
Nigeria (Banji et al., 2012) in which this helminthic worm association of helminthic infection with type of toilet used.
was reported to have high prevalence followed by However, Olusegun et al., (2011) in Osun State report
Strongyloides stercoralis, Trichuris trichiura and significant association of helminthic infection with type of
Hookworm. toilet used.

Ascaris lumbricoides,Trichuris trichiura and Hookworm Ogbaini et al., (2014) reported that poor environmental and
(Ancylostoma duodenale/Necator americanus) were the personal hygiene with respect to hand washing before and
most prevalent parasites encountered during the study after eating are the driving forces of soil-transmitted
with Ascaris lumbricoides having the highest helminths infections. However, in the present study, there
prevalence.The variability in prevalence could be as a was lack of significant association in the occurrence of
result of the students engaging in farming activities, using helminthic infection with respect to this factor. This agrees
well as a source of drinking water, and walking with the findings of Isyaku et al., (2015) where they
barefooted..The results of this study is in agreement with reported lack of significant association of intestinal
the one documented previously by Chigozie et al., (2007) helminths infection with hand washing habit.
in Eastern part of Nigeria where they attributed the high
prevalence of Ascaris lumbricoides among school pupils to
their exposure to contaminated soil which often contain the CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
infective eggs of the parasites, thereby enhancing
transmission from hand to mouth. The 60.0% prevalence of intestinal helminthiasis among
students of Government Day Secondary School Gidan
The significant association of soil-transmitted Igwe Sokoto is high. This may be attributed to being 11-16
helminthiasis with age in the present study is in conformity years, engaging in farming activity, walking barefooted,
with the report of (Simon-Oke et al., (2014) in Ondo State, and using well as source of drinking water. While the
and Chinenye et al., (2007) in River State, where they farmers in the study area should avoid using night soil as
observed increase in prevalence with increasing age. fertilizer, government on the other hand, should intensify
However, (Muhammad et al., (2018) in Sokoto State, effort intensify efforts to provide portable drinking water,
reported lack of significant association of soil-transmitted health education to the students on the dangers of soil-
helminthiasis with age. transmitted helminthiasis, and make drugs available to the
school authority for mass chemotherapy.
In the present study, occurrence of soil-transmitted
helminth infection was significantly associated with
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Prevalence and Risk Factors of Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis among Students of Government Day Secondary School Gidan Igwe Area, Sokoto State, Nigeria
Int. J. Entomol. Nematol. 134

Accepted 11 June 2019

Citation: Bala AY, Mohammed, AO, Muhammad IA

(2019). Prevalence and Risk Factors of Soil-transmitted
Helminthiasis among Students of Government Day
Secondary School Gidan Igwe Area, Sokoto State,
Nigeria. International Journal of Entomology and
Nematology, 5(2): 128-134.

Copyright: © 2019 Bala et al. This is an open-access

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Prevalence and Risk Factors of Soil-transmitted Helminthiasis among Students of Government Day Secondary School Gidan Igwe Area, Sokoto State, Nigeria