Co-occurrence of Intestinal Parasites among School Children of Akonolinga, Centre Region of Cameroon: Emergency Need to Reduce the Health Divide

Oyono Martin Gael *

Laboratory of Parasitology and Ecology, University of Yaoundé I, P.O Box: 812, Yaoundé, Cameroon and Institute of Medical Research and Medicinal Plants Studies, P.O. Box 13033, Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Fosso Samuel

Laboratory of Parasitology, Mycology and Parasitic Immunology, Yaoundé Teaching Hospital, P.O. Box: 1364, Yaoundé, Cameroon.

Njua-Yafi Clarisse

Laboratory of Parasitology and Ecology, University of Yaoundé I, P.O Box: 812, Yaoundé, Cameroon and Department of Animal Production Technology, University of Bamenda, P.O Box 39, Bambili, Cameroon.

Lehman Léopold Gustave

Laboratory of Animal Biology and Physiology, University of Douala, P.O. Box: 2701, Douala, Cameroon.

Bilong Bilong Charles Félix

Laboratory of Parasitology and Ecology, University of Yaoundé I, P.O Box: 812, Yaoundé, Cameroon.

*Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.


Abstract

Background: Intestinal parasitosis pose a serious problem to public health and development, especially for the underprivileged population of low and middle-income countries. School children, who are the most affected, can harbour several parasites at the same time. There is a need to adopt efficient strategies for the elimination of intestinal parasitic infections as a public health problem by 2030.

Methods: This cross-sectional study was conducted to highlight the level of co-occurrence of intestinal parasites among pupils of the Akonolinga locality of the Centre region of Cameroon. Pupils were randomly recruited from 5 public schools; stool samples were collected from those whose parents agreed to participate in the study. Helminth eggs and protozoan cysts were assessed by direct smear and the formol-ether concentration technique.

Results: Out of the 416 pupils recruited, 252 were infected by at least one of the ten intestinal parasites identified. The most frequent soil-transmitted helminths were Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura with prevalences of 21.4 % and 18.5 %, respectively. Entamoeba coli was the main protozoan followed by E. histolytica/dispar with prevalences of 29.3% and 23.8%, respectively, and Embadomonas intestinalis was found in only one pupil (0.2%). The co-occurrence of intestinal parasites reached 50% and children with up to four different parasites were detected. The pair of intestinal protozoan parasites, E. histolytica/dispar and E. coli were the most observed with a frequency of 9.5%. Living in a rural setting and young age were important determinants for most of the parasite infections and co-occurrence of parasites.

Conclusion: The co-occurrence of intestinal parasites among school children of Akonolinga is high, and this situation is more alarming in rural areas and in younger children. The living conditions and the co-occurrence of parasites must be integrated into public policies for fighting against intestinal parasite infections.

Keywords: Intestinal parasites, co-occurrence, school children, health divide


How to Cite

Gael, Oyono Martin, Fosso Samuel, Njua-Yafi Clarisse, Lehman Léopold Gustave, and Bilong Bilong Charles Félix. 2022. “Co-Occurrence of Intestinal Parasites Among School Children of Akonolinga, Centre Region of Cameroon: Emergency Need to Reduce the Health Divide”. International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health 43 (22):20-30. https://doi.org/10.9734/ijtdh/2022/v43i221364.

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