Full Length Research Paper
A cross section study of the prevalence and knowledge of intestinal helminths was investigated among the newly admitted undergraduate students of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Osun State, Nigeria between April and June 2016. Faecal samples from 767 subjects comprising 406 males and 361 females were collected and processed using modified kato-katz method. Eggs of four helminths, Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, hookworms and Taenia spp. were observed with prevalence of 22.03 7.30, 5.08 and 1.43% respectively. 240 (31.3%) of the subjects haboured at least one parasitic infection and the prevalence of infection was higher among the male (31.52%) than the female (31.02%) although the difference in the rates between the two sexes was not statistically significant (PËƒ0.05). The trend in the infection rate was observed to be both age and sex dependent. The lowest age group (16-20 years) recorded the lowest prevalence (26.88%) and the prevalence of infection increased with increase in age till it peaked at 26-30 years (42.85%) and dropped at the age 31-35 years (33.33%). The results of the questionnaire revealed that majority of students that were infected with the helminths have poor knowledge about causes, transmission, prevention and treatment of intestinal helminths which make it difficult to avoid exposure to the parasite.
Key words: Intestinal helminths, prevalence, Ascaris lumbricoides, University students, Nigeria.
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