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Background: Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) continue to be a public health problem in developing countries. In Bandjoun, annual deworming is usually administered to school-age children through the national programme for the control of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis in Cameroon. However, official data on the level of STH infections are scarce in this locality.
Methods: We investigated the prevalence and associated risk factors of STHs among children in Bandjoun with the intention to help design future intervention plans. We obtained demographic data and potential risk factors through the interview of children using a structured questionnaire. Stool samples from these children were collected and examined for helminth eggs using Willis’ technique.
Results: Three STHs were identified with an overall prevalence of 8.7%. These nematodes were Ascaris lumbricoides (8.3%), Trichuris trichiura (0.3%) and hookworms (Ancylostoma duodenale, Necator americanus) (0.7%). Failure to wash hands before meals (AOR: 2.152 [1.056-4.389]) was the main predictor associated with Ascaris infections. Not eating food picked up from the ground (AOR: 0.494 [0.261-0.937]) and not raising pigs at home (AOR: 0.109 [0.045-0.268]) reduced risk of infection.
Conclusion: We recommend that STHs control interventions in Bandjoun focus on the good management of domesticated pigs, the avoidance of contact with soil and handwashing from the earliest ages as a part of daily hygiene practice.
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