Intestinal parasitic infections (IPIs) among schoolchildren in Republic of Marshall Islands (RMI) largely remains unknown, thus investigation on IPIs status to establish the baseline data is urgently needed. This cross-sectional study intended to investigate the current IPIs status and associated risk factors among schoolchildren at capital of RMI. Single stool sample from 400 schoolchildren (207 boys and 193 girls) aged 9.73 ± 2.50 yrs old was examined by employing merthiolate-iodine-formaldehyde concentration method. Demographic characteristics, uncomfortable symptoms and risk factors were obtained by questionnaires investigation. The overall prevalence of IPIs in schoolchildren was 22.8% (91/400), of them 24.2% harbored at least 2 different parasites. Notably, the majority was infected by waterborne protozoan parasites (82.4%, 75/91). Nine different intestinal parasites have been identified, of which six were pathogenic including Hook worm, Trichuris trichiura, Enterobius vermicularis, Entamoeba histolytica/dispar, Giardia intestinalis and Blastocystis hominis. Schoolchildren who ever complained dizziness or headache showed a significant higher prevalence of pathogenic IPIs than those who did not (p < 0.05). Schoolchildren who lived in urban area than rural area had higher chance to acquire pathogenic IPIs (p = 0.03). However, none of risk factors were identified to be associated with pathogenic IPIs.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Infectious Diseases