Monitoring the Status of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases in Non-Endemic Implementation Units: A Case Study of Borgu in Northcentral Nigeria
Nigeria remains the most endemic country in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) for soil-transmitted helminthiases (STH). In line with ongoing monitoring plans, we present findings from a recent analysis of STH epidemiological data in Borgu, one of the non-endemic implementation units for STH in the northcentral region of Nigeria. An overall prevalence of 8.8% was recorded for STH infection, which corresponds to a 51.9% decline from the 18.3% reported in 2013. All the infected participants (36 out of 410) had a low intensity of infection. However, more than two-thirds (69%) of the children do not have access to latrine facilities, and 45% of them walk barefoot. Prevalence was significantly associated with community, age, and parental occupation. About 21–25% reduced odds were reported in some of the study communities, and children whose parents were traders had 20 times lower odds of infection compared to those whose parents were farmers. The ongoing preventive chemotherapy program for lymphatic filariasis in the area could be responsible for the huge reduction in prevalence and intensity estimates for STH. It is therefore important to invest in monitoring transmission dynamics in other non-endemic areas to arrest emerging threats through the provision of complementary interventions including WASH facilities and other health educational tools.