Self-Reported Prevalence and Socio-Demographic Determinants of Multiple Parasitic Infection among Schooling Adolescents in Nigeria


Background: Despite the rising burden of parasitic infections among young schooling adolescents in sub-Saharan Africa, insufficient attention has been paid to school-health. This study examined the self-reported prevalence of major parasitic infections and its association with key socio-demographic factors among young schooling adolescents in Southern Nigeria. Methods: An interviewer-administered school-based survey of students attending schools in Southern Nigeria was conducted in 2013. The study sample involved 585 students (60.9% male, 39.2% female and overall mean age of 15 years). The outcome variable was the self-reported presence of parasitic infection suffered within the past twelve months. The exposure variables were socio-demographic characteristics: age, sex, geolocality, school ownership, parents’ level of education and occupation. Association between the number of parasitic infections and socio-demographic factors were examined, and multivariate logistic regression was used to determine socio-demographic factors predictive of the presence of parasitic infections. Results: The most prevalent parasitic diseases reported across the sample were malaria (46.9%) and helminthiasis (27.7%). Over a quarter (38.5%) had one infectious disease, while about half (40.3%) reported had more than two infectious diseases. In the study sample, the number of parasitic diseases differed significantly by sex (p = 0.0344), age (p = 0.0483), geolocality (p = 0.0001), school ownership (p = 0.0012) and parents’ occupation (p = 0.0199). Multivariate logistic regression analysis showed that attending private school was negatively associated with the presence of parasitic diseases (β = ?0.9129, p = 0.0022). Conclusion: The high prevalence of multiple parasitic infections among the study population is worrisome and should be considered as a school-health concern. Concerted efforts are highly needed to develop school-health intervention programs for addressing the high prevalence of parasitic infection among students. Such programs should be tailored for specific socio-demographic groups. Although there was strong proportionality between self-reported symptoms and parasitic diseases reported, laboratory-based investigation is needed to validate our findings.

Share and Cite:

Nmor, J. , Nmor, J. , Omah, P. , Kehi, N. , Goto, K. , Toyosawa, J. and Fujita, D. (2014) Self-Reported Prevalence and Socio-Demographic Determinants of Multiple Parasitic Infection among Schooling Adolescents in Nigeria. Advances in Infectious Diseases, 4, 8-17. doi: 10.4236/aid.2014.41002.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


[1] Montresor, A., Crompton, D.W.T., Hall, A., Bundy, D.A.P. and Savioli, L. (1998) Guidelines for the Evaluation of Soil Transmitted Helminthiasis and Schistosomiasis at Community Level. World Health Organization, Geneva, WHO/CTC/ SIP/98.
[2] Ekpo, U.F., Odoemene, S.N., Mafiana, C.F. and Sam-Wobo, S.O. (2008) Helminthiasis and Hygiene Conditions of Schools in Ikenne, Ogun State, Nigeria. PLoSNegleted Tropical Diseases, 2, e146.
[3] World Health Organization (2009) WHO World Malaria Report. Geneva.
[4] Furness, B.W., Beach, M.J. and Roberts, J.M. (2000) Giardiasis Surveillance-United States, 1992-1997. Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) CDC Surveillance Summaries, 49, 1-13.
[5] Nmor, J.C., Onojafe, J.O. and Omu, B.A. (2009) Anthropogenic Indices of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiasis among Children in Delta State, Southern Nigeria. Iranian Journal of Public Health, 38, 31-38.
[6] Girum, T. (2005) The Prevalence of Intestine Helminthic Infections and Associated Risk Factors among School Children in Babile Town, Eastern Ethiopia. Ethiopian Journal of Health Development, 19, 140-147.
[7] Yakubu, N., Musa, G. and Yakubu, S.E. (2003) Seasonal Changes in the Distribution and Infection Rate of Schistosoma Intermediate Hosts in River Kubanni and Its Tributaries. Bio Research Communication, 15, 207-214.
[8] Gelaw, A., Anagaw, B., Nigussie, B., Silesh, B., Yirga, A., Alem, M., Endris, M. and Gelaw, B. (2013) Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Infections and Risk Factors among Schoolchildren at the University of Gondar Community School, Northwest Ethiopia: A Cross-Sectional Study. BMC Public Health, 13, 304.
[9] Goodburn, E.A. and Ross, D.A. (2000) Young People’s Health in Developing Countries: A Neglected Problem and Opportunity. Health Policy and Planning, 15, 137-144.
[10] Moestue, H., Mahumane, B., Zacher, A., Issae, W., Kihamia, C.M., Wen, S.T., Adjei, S., Bundy, D.A. and Hall, A. (2003) Ill-Health Reported by Schoolchildren during Questionnaire Surveys in Ghana, Mozambique and Tanzania. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 8, 967-974.
[11] Stoltzfus, R.J., Albonico, M., Chwaya, H.M., Tielsch, J.M., Schulze, K.J. and Savioli, L. (1998) Effects of the Zanzibar School-Based Deworming Program on Iron Status of Children. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 68, 179-186.
[12] Ekundayo, J.O., Aliyu, H.M. and Jolly, E.P. (2007) A Review of Intestinal Helminthiasis in Nigeria and the Need for School-Based Intervention. Journal of Rural and Tropical Public Health, 6, 33-39.
[13] World Health Organization (2008) 2008-2013 Action Plan for the Global Strategy for the Prevention and Control of Non-Communicable Diseases. WHO, Geneva.
[14] Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (1997) Guidelines for School Health Programs to Promote Lifelong Healthy Eating. Journal of School Health, 67, 9-26.
[15] De Villiers, A., Steyn, N.P., Draper, C.E., Fourie, J.M., Barkhuizen, G., Lombard, C.J., Dalais, L., Abrahams, Z. and Lambert, E.V. (2012) “HealthKick”: Formative Assessment of the Health Environment in Low-Resource Primary Schools in the Western Cape Province of South Africa. BMC Public Health, 12, 794.
[16] Ekpo, U.F. and Mafiana, C.F. (2005) Epidemiological Studies of Urinary Schistosomiasis in Ogun State, Nigeria: Identification of High-Risk Communities. Nigerian Journal of Parasitology, 25, 111-119.
[17] Okon, O., Ememayom, A. and Opara, K. (2009) Reliability of Self-Reported Blood in Urine for Diagnosis of Schistosoma haematobium in a Community in South-Eastern Nigeria. The Internet Journal of Epidemiology, 7, 2.
[18] Clements, A.C., Barnett, A.G., Nyandindi, U., Lwambo, N.J., Kihamia, C.M. and Blair, L. (2008) Age and Gender Effects in Self-Reported Urinary Schistosomiasis in Tanzania. Tropical Medicine and International Health, 13, 713-721.
[19] Ola, J.A. and Oyeledun, B. (1999) School Health in Nigeria: National Strategies. In: World Health Organization (Ed.), Improving Health through Schools: National and International Strategies. WHO, Geneva, 81-84.
[20] Ekundayo, J.O., Aliyu, H.M. and Jolly, E.P. (2007) A Review of Intestinal Helminthiasis in Nigeria and the Need for School-Based Intervention. Journal of Rural and Tropical Public Health, 6, 33-39.
[21] Onwujekwe, O., Chima, R. and Okonkwo, P. (2000) Economic Burden of Malaria Illness on Households versus That of All Other Illness Episodes: A Study in Five Malaria Holo-Endemic Nigerian Communities. Health Policy, 54, 143-159.
[22] Omolade, O.O. and Adejoke, C.I. (2010) The Malaria Situation, Perception of Cause and Treatment in a Nigerian University. Journal of Medicine and Medical Sciences, 1, 213-222.
[23] Adefioye, O.A., Efunshile, A.M., Ojurongbe, O., kindele, A.A., Adewuyi, I.K., Bolaji, O.S., Adedokun, S.A. and Adeyeba, A.O. (2011) Intestinal Helminthiasis among School Children in Ilie, Osun State, Southwest, Nigeria. Sierra Leone Journal of Biomedical Research, 3, 43-48.
[24] Agbolade, O.M., Akinboye, D.O. and Awolaja, A. (2004) Intestinal Helminthiasis and Urinary Schistosomiasis in Some Villages of Liebu North, Ogun State, Nigeria. African Journal of Biotechnology, 3, 206-209.
[25] Oyewole, F., Ariyo, F., Oyibo, W.A., Sanyadu, A., Faweya, T. and Monye, P. (2007) Helminthic Reduction with Albendazole among Children in Riverine Communities of Nigeria. Journal of Rural Tropical Public Health, 6, 6-10.
[26] Raso, G., Luginbühl, A., Adjoua, C.A., Tian-Bi, N.T., Silué, K.D., Matthys, B., Vounatsou, P., Wang, Y., Dumas, M., Holmes, E., Singer, B.H., Tanner, M., N’Goran, E.K. and Utzinger, J. (2004) Multiple Parasite Infections and Their Relationship to Self-Reported Morbidity in a Community of Rural Côte d’Ivoire. International Journal of Epidemiology, 33, 1092-1102.
[27] Ukpai, O.M. and Ugwu, C.D. (2003) The Prevalence of Gastro-Intestinal Tract Parasites in Primary School Children in Ikwuano Local Government Area of Abia State, Nigeria. The Nigerian Journal of Parasitology, 24, 129-136.
[28] Rijal, B., Oda, Y., Basnet, R., Parajuli, K., Gurung, C.K. and Sherchand, J.B. (2001) Gender Variations in the Prevalence of Parasitic Infections and the Level of Awareness in Adolescents in Rural Nepal. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, 32, 575-580.
[29] Ramakrishnan, R., Rao, T.V., Sundaramoorthy, L. and Joshua, V. (1999) Magnitude of Recall Bias in the Estimation of Immunization Coverage and Its Determinants. Indian Pediatrics, 36, 881-885.
[30] Nmor, J.C., Nwaka, K.H., Goto, K., Toyosawa, J. and Fujita, D. (2013) High Rate of Injuries among Students in Southern Nigeria: An Urgent Call to Action. Health, 5, 1965-1975.

Copyright © 2021 by authors and Scientific Research Publishing Inc.

Creative Commons License

This work and the related PDF file are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.