Prevalence of Intestinal Parasites and Association with Malnutrition at a Ghanaian Orphanage

Kwabena Duedu (Corresponding / Lead Author), Eric Peprah, Isaac Anim-Baidoo, P. F. Ayeh-Kumi (Corresponding / Lead Author)

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    Parasitic infections particularly neglected tropical diseases affect millions of individuals in sub-Saharan Africa. It is associated with poverty and limited resources, which is a key characteristic of orphanages. Unfortunately, there is very scarce baseline data about the prevalence of parasitic infections within orphanages and other institutions with limited resources and special needs in Ghana. We conducted a cross-sectional survey among 101 inhabitants of one of the major orphanages in Ghana. We collected demographic and anthropological data to assess living conditions as well as nutritional status and how these relate to parasitic infections. Parasitic infections were detected from stool samples collected and analyzed by standard parasitological techniques. The prevalence of parasitic infections was 15.8%. Parasites isolated were Ascaris lumbricoides (5%), Trichuris trichiura (1%), hookworm (1%), Clonorchis sinensis (2%), Fasciola hepatica (2%), Hymenolepis nana (2%), Schistosoma mansoni (3%), Taenia spp. (1%), Strongyloides stercoralis (2%), and Giardia duodenalis (1%). There was a significant association between malnutrition and parasitic infections. The prevalence of intestinal parasites among inmates is high. With the exception of S. stercoralis, which infects via skin penetration, all others have some association with water either drunk or for play. The need for proper evaluation of water supply and its safety is strongly encouraged.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)5
    Number of pages5
    JournalHuman Parasitic Diseases
    Volume7
    Publication statusPublished (VoR) - 2015

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