STUDYING THE PREVALENCE, HEMATOLOGICAL PREDICTORS OF INTESTINAL PARASITES AND ITS RELATION TO STUNTING AS A NUTRITIONAL CONSEQUENCE ON SCHOOL CHILDREN
Samah H Yahia1, Amani A Ahmed2
Department of Medical Parasitology1 and Paediatrics2, Faculty of Medicine, Zagazig University, Egypt.
Background: Intestinal parasitic diseases and its effect on growth rate of school children in developing countries is a major health morbidity that threat their future cognitive and income capabilities. Objective: In this study, the nutritional status in the form of stunting and both anaemia and eosinophilia as haematological indicators were assessed and related to the presence of intestinal parasites. Methodology: 298 of school children aging 6–15 years were involved. A questionnaire was administered to obtain socio-demographic characteristics, blood and stool samples were collected, and Height-for-age Z scores was calculated according to WHO standards. Results: 194 (65%) of overall children recorded -2 z-scores (stunted).159(77.6%) of the stunted children recorded positive for intestinal parasites. Nine parasites namely Ascaris lumbricoides, Ancylostoma duodenale, Hymenolepis nana, taenia species, Entrobius vermicularis, Trichuris trichura, Giardia lamblia, Entamoeba histolytica and Cryptosporidium parvum were identified. Anaemia and eosinophilia were identified in stunted children with a prevalence of 138 (71%) and 109(56.2%). Regarding socio-demographic data, low income, and poor personal hygiene were significantly associated with both stunting and parasitic infection. Conclusion: the results of our work support the body of evidence that document the intimate relationship between intestinal parasitic infections and children growth rate. In addition, it strengthens the hypothesis that anemia is the most important outcome of intestinal parasitic infection in school children.