Amoebasis is one of the major causes of morbidity and mortality world wide, especially in developing countries because of lack of safe potable water and low level of hygiene due to high level of poverty. This study determined the prevalence and spatial distribution of amoebasis in school age children in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. Two hundred and seventy eight (278) stool samples were examined for the cyst or trophozoites of Entamoeba histolytica using direct smear and floatation techniques. One hundred and eighty-eight (67.6%) of the samples were found to be positive for the parasite. Females (68.3%) were more infected than males (66.9%), but there was no significant difference between prevalence and sex. Children within the age group of 4 to 6 years old had the highest rate (85.3%) of infection. There was a significant difference between prevalence and the age groups. The highest prevalence of 33 (94.3%), 58 (95.0%), 80 (88.9%) and 73 (91.3%) were recorded among children who drink water fetched from the stream, buy food from food vendors, use pit toilet and were de-wormed nine months before stool sample collection (P < 0.05). Improved sanitation, personal hygiene and policy for regular de-worming of school age children by parents and Government will decrease the rate of intestinal infections.
Key words: Prevalence, Entamoeba histolytica, amoebasis, infection, hygiene, children.
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