PREVALENCE OF INTESTINAL HELMINTHS AMONG SCHOOL CHILDREN IN KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA
Background: Intestinal parasites is a global health problem. Of all these, helminthiasis is an important cause of morbidity
and malnutrition. In school children, helminthiasis is associated with poor growth, reduced physical activity, impaired
cognitive function and learning ability which culminates in impaired educational performance and reduced school
attendance. The objective of this study is to establish the prevalence of soil transmitted helminths in school children
and provide a base for deworming intervention and control strategies for primary schools in Khyber Pakthunkhwa.
Methods: It was a cross-sectional study conducted over a period of five months (Oct 2012 to Feb 2013 ) on primary
school children of class one, class two and class three, selected from the eight districts of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa
through multistage random sampling. Stool samples of 2573 primary school students (one sample from each student)
were analysed through direct wet smear microscopy. The process was monitored by a team of Parasitologists. Data
obtained was analysed using SPSS software; and frequencies, percentages, 95% Confidence Intervals were calculated.
Results: Out of the total stool samples,1005 (39.06% with a 95% Confidence Interval of 37.17-40.95 %) were helminth
positive. Out of the total helminth positive samples, 518(51.5% ) were contributed by Zone-D. Round worms were
597(59.4%) in the total positive samples which was the highest proportion while the lowest proportion (4.9%) was
noted for Whip worms.
Conclusions: Helminthiasis was found to be a health problem among the study population. Deworming and health
promotion activities could better control the problem.
Keywords: Helminthiasis, Malnutrition, Health promotion, School Health Serv