Scientific Research and Essays

  • Abbreviation: Sci. Res. Essays
  • Language: English
  • ISSN: 1992-2248
  • DOI: 10.5897/SRE
  • Start Year: 2006
  • Published Articles: 2758

Full Length Research Paper

Pediculosis among primary school children in Calabar, Nigeria and implications for control

Etim S. E.1, Ohioma M. E.2, Okon O. E.3 and Akpan P. A.1
1Department of Biological Sciences, Cross River University of Technology, Calabar, Nigeria. 2Department of Family Medicine, National Hospital, Abuja, Nigeria. 3Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology, University of Calabar, Calabar, Nigeria.  
Email: [email protected]

  •  Accepted: 24 October 2012
  •  Published: 03 October 2013

Abstract

This study was undertaken to determine the prevalence of head lice among primary school children in a semi-urban area of Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. A total of 204 children aged 6 to 12 years from both genders had their hair and scalp examined by visual inspection for head lice. A questionnaire was used to assess children’s knowledge about the ectoparasite – Pediculus humanus capitis. The prevalence of head lice infestation was 26.4%. More girls were infested with prevalence rate of 35.4% while boys had 18.5% (p< 0.001). Self-reported contact with another infected person was the main risk factor for becoming infected. One hundred and sixty five children (80.8%) reported sleeping with other people on the same bed. A total of 114 children (55.8%) had no knowledge of the appropriate treatment for pediculosis. Low socioeconomic status pre-disposed the children to infestation arising from sharing beds, clothing and combs. It is recommended that early detection of the infestation and effective management strategies which should target school children should be put in place for effective control of pediculosis.

 

Key words: Calabar, Nigeria, Pediculosis humanus capitis, head lice infestation, school children.