INTESTINAL PARASITES AND ASSOCIATED RISK FACTORS AMONG PRIMARY SCHOOL CHILDREN IN DUHOK CITY-KURDISTAN REGION/IRAQ
Background: The present study was carried out during the period from October 2021 until March 2022, to detect the presence of parasites in stool samples of primary school children.
MATERIAL AND METHODS: A total of 1172 diarrheic stool specimens were randomly collected from primary school children of both sexes and different ages (6-12 years) visited Azadi Teaching Hospital, Heevi Pediatric Hospital, and Kurdistan private (Maternity and Pediatric) Hospital in Duhok city.
RESULTS: In the current study, 40.96% (480/1172) of the examined specimens were positive for parasitic stages, they included 56.67% (272) males and 43.33% (208) females. High prevalence (40%) of intestinal parasites was reported among the age group 6-7 years. The recorded intestinal parasitic species included: Entamoeba histolytica which was the most dominant intestinal protozoa with infection rate of 21.67% (254/1172), followed by Enterobius vermicularis 13.48% (158/1172), then Giardia lamblia of about 5.46% (64/1172) , while Blastocystis hominis was reported only in four children at a rate of 0.34% (1172). As regards to some sociodemographic factors, significant correlations (P <0.05) were observed between the rates of infection with intestinal parasites and residency, dirty fingers and family size. While regarding other factors such as, literacy, hand washing and having pets the correlations were non-significant (P >0.05)
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