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.

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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.


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