To initiate the prevention and control methods for overlapping distribution of intestinal helminthes and malaria, collecting adequate, updated and reliable information is required. Thus, the objective of this study was to assess the prevalence of Malaria-intestinal helminthes co-infection among patients attending Wolkite Health Center and Attat Hospital, Gurage Zone, Southern Ethiopia. Cross sectional parasitological study of 460 patients was conducted from April to June 2016. Giemsa-stained blood film was examined to detect malaria parasite, while the formal-ether concentration technique was used to diagnose intestinal helminthes. Data was entered and analyzed using SPSS version 16.0 soft ware. Overall prevalence of malaria infection was 18.3% (84). Plasmodium vivax 12% (55/460) and Plasmodium falciparum 5.9% (27/460) were the only malaria species identified. Mixed malaria species were 0.4% (2/460). The overall prevalence for at least one intestinal helminthes was 43% (198/460). Ascaris lumbricoides (16.7%), Hookworm (11.7%), Hymenolepis nana (12.4%), Enterobius vermicularis (8.0%) and Taenia species (13.0%) were the identified species. Malaria-intestinal helminthes co-infection was 10% (46/84). The most common among co-existed helminthes was A. lumbricoides (4.1%) followed by Taenia species (3.7%). The co-infection prevalence was higher in females 13% (29/224) compared to males 7.2% (17/236) (χ2= 4.212, P- value= 0.04). Possible control methods such as public health education on bed net use and cleaning environment, provision of IRS and ITN/ILLN as well as providing community based control strategies should be the major focusing area of regional as well as federal health institutions in the country. This co-infection of malaria and intestinal helminthes may increase the risk to anaemia. Therefore, further studies on the association of co-infection with anaemia and assessment on the mechanism involved in such interaction is needed to support this current finding as well as provide useful information necessary to design control management for malaria in the context of co-infection.
Key words: Co-infection, malaria, intestinal helminths, Wolkite Health Center, Attat Hospital.
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