ESTIMATING THE BURDEN OF INTESTINAL HELMINTHS AMONG PREGNANT WOMEN IN KHYBER PAKHTUNKHWA
Background: Soil transmitted intestinal helminthiasis is a global public health issue. Annually, about 44% pregnancies
are affected by this, world wide leading to neonatal pre maturity , peri natal mortality, low Birth Weight (LBW) and
maternal anemia. The objective of this study is to establish the burden of soil transmitted helminths among pregnant
women in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) and plan control startegies accordingly;both at the provincial and district levels.
Methods: This Cross-sectional study was conducted over a period of five months on a study sample of 1545 pregnant
women selected randomly through multi stage sampling from the four defined zones of Khyber Pakhtun Khwa. Stool
sample of each participant was analysed through wet smear direct microscopy method. Data was analysed through
SPSS and Microsoft Excell. Frequencies and percentages along with 95% Confidence Intervals were calculated for
categorical data. Participants consent and approval of the ethical review committee were sought.
Results: 293 (18.96%, 95% CI: 17.01% to 20.91%) of the total stool samples were positive for soil transmitted helminths.
Roundworm or Ascaris lumbricoides contributed 135 (8.73% ,95% CI: 7.32% to 10.14%), and among positive
stool samples,it was found to be in the highest proportion. Zone –D contributed the highest proportion among positive
samples, as 45.73%.
Keywords: Pregnancy, Helminthiasis, Malnutrition, Iron Deficiency Anemia.