Incidence of Intestinal Parasites among Food Handlers (Hawkers) around the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu, Enugu State, Nigeria
R. C. Egbuobi, M. A. Nwagbaraocha, J. N. Dike-Ndudim, H. M. Okorie, I. A. Ogamaka, L. N. Egbuobi, P. C. Enwuru, J. E. Ereh
Parasite, University, Hospital, Teaching, Sanitary, Helminthes
Open Journal of Medical Microbiology,
Incidence of intestinal Parasites has been described as one of the most common problems of developing countries like Nigeria. World Health Organization estimated that 3.5 billion people worldwide are infected with some types of intestinal parasites, and as many as 450 million of them are sick as a result. This work therefore is carried out to access the carrier status of food handlers around the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu in Enugu State of Nigeria as well as to ascertain the common offending parasite. Three hundred and six (306) stool samples were randomly collected between January and August, 2001 from food vendors occupying the zones around the Teaching Hospital which include: UNTH Road, Railway track, Prison old park and Dean’s cook. The samples were transported to the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Parasitology Laboratory within 1 hour of production and analysed Parasitologically using Physiological saline and iodine direct mount and formal ether concentration techniques. Out of the 306 stool samples analysed, 126 representing 41.2% tested positive to parasites. Entamobe histolytica showed the highest incidence of 52.4% followed by Ascaris lumbricoidis with 23.8% and the least was Tricharis trichura with 40%. The incidence of mixed infection was 44.4%. Female food handlers were more infected 44.2% than the male food handlers 36.8%. Whereas Meat handlers were most infected 66.7% among other food handlers. From the result of the work, it can be inferredthat the incidence of intestinal parasites among food handlers around the University of Nigeria Teaching Hospital Enugu is high and this can be attributed mainly to poor sanitary condition of this area. We therefore recommend that Enugu State Government should intensify her sanitation programme especially where public foods are being handled, as well as provide enlightenment campaign for food handlers to save the lives of her citizenry.