Self-Reported Prevalence and Socio-Demographic Determinants of Multiple Parasitic Infection among Schooling Adolescents in Nigeria
Jephtha C. Nmor, Judith Nmor, Prosper Omah, Nwaka H. Kehi, Kensuke Goto, Junko Toyosawa, Daisuke Fujita
Advances in Infectious Diseases
Despite the rising burden of parasitic infections among young schooling adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, insufficient attention has been paid to school-health. This study examined the self-reported prevalence of major parasitic infections and its association with key socio-demographic factors among young schooling adolescents in Southern Nigeria. Methods: An interviewer-administered school-based survey of students attending schools in Southern Nigeria was conducted in 2013. The study sample
... volved 585 students (60.9% male, 39.2% female and overall mean age of 15 years). The outcome variable was the self-reported presence of parasitic infection suffered within the past twelve months. The exposure variables were socio-demographic characteristics: age, sex, geolocality, school ownership, parents' level of education and occupation. Association between the number of parasitic infections and socio-demographic factors were examined, and multivariate logistic regression was used to determine socio-demographic factors predictive of the presence of parasitic infections. Results: The most prevalent parasitic diseases reported across the sample were malaria (46.9%) and helminthiasis (27.7%). Over a quarter (38.5%) had one infectious disease, while about half (40.3%) reported had more than two infectious diseases. In the study sample, the number of parasitic diseases differed significantly by sex (p = 0.0344), age * Corresponding Author. J. C. Nmor et al. 9 (p = 0.0483), geolocality (p = 0.0001), school ownership (p = 0.0012) and parents' occupation (p = 0.0199). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that attending private school was negatively associated with the presence of parasitic diseases (β = −0.9129, p = 0.0022). Conclusion: The high prevalence of multiple parasitic infections among the study population is worrisome and should be considered as a school-health concern. Concerted efforts are highly needed to develop school-health intervention programs for addressing the high prevalence of parasitic infection among students. Such programs should be tailored for specific socio-demographic groups. Although there was strong proportionality between self-reported symptoms and parasitic diseases reported, laboratory-based investigation is needed to validate our findings.