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Year : 2020  |  Volume : 64  |  Issue : 4  |  Page : 333-338

Prevalence and risk factors of soil-transmitted helminth infections in school age children (6–14 years) – A cross-sectional study in an urban resettlement colony of Delhi

1 Ex-Post Graduate, Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India
2 Professor, Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India
3 Director Professor and Head, Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India
4 Additional Director and Head, Division of Epidemiology, National Centre for Disease Control, Directorate General of Health Services (Government of India), Delhi, India

Correspondence Address:
Anita Shankar Acharya
Department of Community Medicine, Lady Hardinge Medical College, Shaheed Bhaghat Singh Marg, New Delhi
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/ijph.IJPH_120_20

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Background: Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections have adverse physical and mental effect, especially in preschool (3–6 years) and school-age children (6–14 years). They are associated with socio-behavioral factors of poverty and poor personal and community hygiene. Objectives: To determine the prevalence, intensity, and the type of helminths infection harbored by the school age children (6–14 years) and to examine the relationship between STH infection and their potential risk factors and associated variables. Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted from January to December 2016 among 250 school age children residing in an urban resettlement colony of East Delhi. Data were collected using a semistructured interview schedule. Stool sample was tested using the Kato Katz technique. Data were analyzed in SPSS software version 16, and multivariable regression analysis was done to calculate the odds of various risk factors. Results: The prevalence of STH was found to be 54.8%, and majority (85.3%) of Ascaris and all Trichuris infections were of light intensity. Multivariable logistic regression analysis confirmed that children having poor handwashing behavior in school, irregular handwashing before eating, having pica, and lack of de-worming had higher odds of having STH infection. Conclusion: The prevalence of STH in the study area is substantially high, and the findings suggest that besides mass de-worming strategy, behavior change, and improvement in hygiene are required to control STH.

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