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BACKGROUND: Parasitic infections, caused by intestinal protozoan and helminths, affect more than two billion people worldwide (1). These infections are more prevalent in the poorest sections of the population and re-infection in endemic areas is continuous. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of intestinal heliminths in an area of urban and rural Jimma, and compare the rates among different socio-demographic variables.
METHODS: A cross-sectional survey of 924 children aged 1-5 years living in and around the town of Jimma in Southwest Ethiopia was conducted. Data was collected using structured questionnaire by house-to-house visit. Fresh stool sample was collected and examined under microscope.
RESULTS: Nine hundred and twenty four (88%) of the targeted 1045 children participated in the study. The age of studied children ranges from 12 to 60 months with median age of 36 months. Out of 9 24 children studied, 53% were male with it ale to female ratio 1.1:1. Fifty eight percent of these children were from Jimma town, majorities (66%) Oromo and 59% Muslim. The mothers of majority (43%) were not educated and the household income was less than 201 Birr in 69%. The overall prevalence rate of intestinal helminths was 57.4% with Trichurist lumbricoids 30.5%, Hymenolopis nana 4.3% and hookworm spp 4%. hana 4.3% and hookworm spp 4%. One hundred and thirty five children had double infections, commonest being with Ascaris lumbricoids and Trichuris trichura and 13 had triple infections. It is shown as the prevalence rates and intensity of infection by the identified intestinal helminths was increasing with child's age and more males were affected.
CONCLUSION: This study has shown that intestinal helminthic infections, mainly ascariasis and trichuriasis are abundant in toddlers and pre-school children; and alence rate and intensity of infections increased as the age of the child increase. It Miso showed that the rate of infection was high in urban settings, male sex, Dawro ethnic group, educated mothers and better income family.