Prevalence and Risk Factors of Infection with Soil Transmitted Helminths in Children from Bandjoun, the West Region of Cameroon

Main Article Content

Vanessa Rosine Nkouayep
Peter Nejsum
Dzune Fossouo Dirane Cleopas
Noumedem Anangmo Christelle Nadia
Atiokeng Tatang Rostand Joël
Mpoame Mbida


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.

Risk factors, prevalence, intensity, soil-transmitted helminths.

Article Details

How to Cite
Nkouayep, V. R., Nejsum, P., Cleopas, D. F. D., Nadia, N. A. C., Joël, A. T. R., & Mbida, M. (2020). Prevalence and Risk Factors of Infection with Soil Transmitted Helminths in Children from Bandjoun, the West Region of Cameroon. International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE & Health, 41(17), 34-43.
Original Research Article


Hotez PJ, Brindley PJ, Bethony JM, King CH, Pearce EJ, Jacobson J. Helminth infections: The great neglected tropical diseases. Journal of Clinical Investigation. 2008;118:1311-1321.

Ogbe MG, Edet E, Isichel NN. Intestinal helminths infections in primary school children in areas of operation of shell petroleum development company of Nigeria. Journal of Parasitology. 2012;23(1):3-10.

Brooker S, Archie C, Don AC, Bundy AP. Global epidemiology, ecology and control of soil transmitted helminth infections. Advances in Parasitology; 2006.

Blouin B, Casapia M, Joseph L, Kaufman JS, Larson C, Gyorkos TW. The effect of cumulative soil-transmitted helminth infections over time on child development: A 4-year longitudinal cohort study in preschool children using Bayesian methods to adjust for exposure misclassification. International Journal of Epidemiology. 2018;47(4):1180–1194.

Pullan RL, Smith JL, Jasrasaria R, Brooker SJ. Global numbers of infection and disease burden of soil transmitted helminth infections in 2010. Parasite Vectors. 2014;7:37.

WHO/Department of control of neglected tropical diseases. Eliminating soil-transmitted helminthiasis as a public health problem in children. Progress Report 2001-2010 and Strategic Plan 2011-2020. Geneva, Switzerland. 2012;78.

Ministère de la Santé Publique. Programme National de Lutte contre la Schistosomiase et les helminthiases Intestinales: Plan stratégique 2010-2015. Ministère de la Santé Publique, Cameroun. 2015;29. French

Tchuem Tchuente´ LA, Kamwa Ngassam RI, Sumo L, Ngassam P, Dongmo Noumedem C, Luogbou Nzu DD, Dankoni E, Kenfack CM, Feussom Gipwe N, Akame J, Tarini A, Zhang Y, Fobuzski Angwafo III F. Mapping of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminthiasis in the Regions of Centre, East and West Cameroon. PLoS Neglected Tropical Diseases. 2012;6(3):1-12.

Thienpont D, Rochette F, Vanparijs OFJ. Le diagnostic des verminoses par examen coprologique. Janssen Research Foundation, Beerse. Belgium. 1979;187.

Khan Payne V, Lontuo Fongang R, Ngangnang GR, Megwi L, Mbong E, Yamssi C, Bamou R, Mpoame Mbida. Prevalence and intensity of infection of gastro-intestinal parasites in Babadjou, West Region of Cameroon. International Journal of Clinical and Experimental Medical Sciences. 2017;3(2):14-22.

Njunda LA, Assob NJC, Nsagha SD, Nde FP, Kamga FHL, Asangbeng TE, Kwenti TE. Low prevalence of helminth infection among HIV patients in Cameroon. Research and Reviews: Journal of Microbiology and Biotechnology. 2012;1(1):1-11.

Tabi ESB, Eyong EM, Akum EA, Löve J, Cumber SC. Soil-transmitted helminth infection in the Tiko Health District, South West Region of Cameroon: A post-intervention survey on prevalence and intensity of infection among primary school children. Pan African Medical Journal. 2018;1-9.

Fusi-Ngwa C, Besong E, Wabo Pone J, Mpoame Mbida. A cross-sectional study of intestinal parasitic infections in children in Ghettoed, Diverse and Affluent Communities in Dschang, West Region, Cameroon. Open Access Library Journal. 2014;1:1-14.

Teshale T, Belay S, Tadesse D, Awala A, Teklay G. Prevalence of intestinal helminths and associated factors among school children of Medebay Zana wereda; North Western Tigray, Ethiopia 2017. BMC Research Notes. 2018;11(444):1-6.

Loukouri A, Méité A, Kouadio OK, Djè NN, Trayé-Bi G, Koudou BG, N’Goran EK. Prevalence, intensity of soil-transmitted helminths and factors associated with infection: importance in control program with Ivermectin and Albendazole in Eastern Côte d’Ivoire. Journal of Tropical Medicine. 2019;1-10.

Ratard RC, Kouemeni LE, Ekani Bessala MM, Ndamkou CN, Sama MT, Cline BL. Ascariasis and trichuriasis in Cameroon. Transactions of the Royal Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene. 1991;85: 84-88.

Nkengazong L, Njiokou F, Wanji S, Teukeng F, Enyong P, Asonganyi T. Prevalence of soil transmitted helminths and impact of Albendazole on parasitic indices in Kotto Barombi and Marumba II villages (South-West Cameroon). African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. 2010;4(3):115-121.

Mbuh JV, Ntonifor NH, Ojong J. The epidemiology of soil-transmitted helminth and protozoan infections in South-West Cameroon. Journal of Helminthology. 2011;86:30-37.

Dankoni EN, Tchuem Tchuenté LA. Epidémiologie de la schistosomiase et des géohelminthiases dans l’Arrondissement de Kékem (Ouest- Cameroun). International Journal of Innovation and Applied Studies. 2014;8:1782-1790.

Santos FLN, Cerqueira EJL, Soares NM. Comparison of the thick smear and Kato-Katz techniques for diagnosis of intestinal helminth infections. Rev Soc Brasil Med Trop. 2005;38:196-198.

O’Lorcain P, Holland CV. The public health importance of Ascaris lumbricoides. Parasitology. 2000;121:S51-S71.

Olsen LS, Kelley GW, Sen H. Longevity and egg-production of Ascaris suum. Transactions of the American Microscopical Society. 1958;77:380-383.

Ako SE, Edith A, Vicky TN, Abiabia AN, Kimbi HK. Persistent soil-transmitted helminth infections and associated risk factors among children aged between 4 and 12 in Mile 16 Bolifamba, Buea, Cameroon: 6 Months Post-Deworming Campaign. International Journal of TROPICAL DISEASE and Health. 2018;32(4):1-9.

Kuete T, Yemeli FLS, Essono Mvoa E, Nkoa T, Moyou Somo R, Ekobo AS. Prevalence and risk factors of intestinal helminth and protozoa infections in an urban setting of Cameroon: The case of Douala. American Journal of Epidemiology and Infectious Disease. 2015;3(2):36-44.

Feleke BE, Beyene MB, Feleke TE, Jember TH, Abera B. Intestinal parasitic infection among household contacts of primary cases, a comparative cross-sectional study. PLoS ONE. 2019;14(10): 1-11.

Freeman MC, Stocks ME, Cumming O, Jeandron A, Higgins JPT, Wolf J, Pruss-Ustun A, Bonjour S, Hunter PR, Fewtrell L, Curtis V. Hygiene and health: Systematic review of handwashing practices worldwide and update of health effects. Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2014;19(8):906-916.

Olsen A, Permin A, Roepstorff A. Chicken and pigs as transport hosts for Ascaris, Trichuris and Oesophagostomum eggs. Parasitology. 2001;123:325-330.

Traub RJ, Robertson ID, Irwin P, Mencke N, Andrew Thompson RC. The prevalence, intensities and risk factors associated with geohelminth infection in tea-growing communities of Assam, India. Tropical Medicine and International Health. 2004;9: 688-701.

Nejsum P, Parker ED, Frydenberg J, Roepstorff A, Boes J, Haque R, Astrup I, Prag J, Sorensen UBS. Ascariasis is a zoonosis in Denmark. Journal of Clinical Microbiology. 2005;43:1142-1148.

Zhou C, Li M, Yuan K, Deng S, Peng W. Pig Ascaris: An important source of human ascariasis in China. Infection, Genetics and Evolution. 2012;12(6):1172-1177.

Galgamuwa L, Iddawela D, Dharmaratne SD. Factors associated with the prevalence of Ascaris lumbricoides infection among preschool children in a plantation community, Kandy District, Sri Lanka. Southeast Asian Journal Tropical Medicine Public Health. 2016;47(6):1143-1152.