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Prevalence and intensity of soil-transmitted helminth infections and associated risk factors among household heads living in the peri-urban areas of Jimma town, Oromia, Ethiopia: A community-based cross-sectional study


Background: Ethiopia has set national targets for eliminating soil-transmitted helminths (STH) as public health problems by 2020 and for breaking their transmission by 2025 using periodic mass treatment of children in endemic areas. However, the status of STH infection among the adults living in the same communities remains unknown. The aim of this study, therefore, was to determine the prevalence and intensity of STH infections and associated factors among the household heads in the peri-urban areas of Jimma town, Oromia, Ethiopia.

Methods: A community-based cross-sectional study was conducted in five peri-urban kebeles (smallest administrative unit in Ethiopia) of Jimma town from May to July 2021. A semi-structured questionnaire was used to collect data on socio-demographic and predisposing factors. The Kato-Katz concentration technique was utilized to detect and quantify the STH in stool samples. Both bivariate and multivariate analyses were done. P-value <0.05 was considered statistically significant.

Results: A total of 376 household heads (19.9% women and 80.1% men) from peri-urban areas were included in the study. The overall STH prevalence was 18.1% (95% CI: 14.6–22.1) with A. lumbricoides being the predominant species (11.4%) followed by T. trichiura (7.2%) and hookworm (2.1%). Most of the STH positive household heads had single infections (85.3%) and light-intensity infections (88.5%). Wealth status (AOR = 2.7; 95% CI: 1.31–5.50, P = 0.007), hand washing habits before meals (AOR = 7.07; 95% CI: 1.79–27.88, p = 0.005), fingernails status (AOR = 2.99; 95% CI: 1.59–5.65, p = 0.001), and toilet facility type (AOR = 2.06; 95% CI: 1.13–3.76, p = 0.017) were found to have statistically significant associations with the STH infection.

Conclusion: The findings of this study showed a nearly moderate level of STH prevalence among household heads in the peri-urban community. This could serve as an important reservoir for reinfection of the treated children and other at-risk groups in the community.

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Journal Article
Zeynudin A
Degefa T
Tesfaye M
Suleman S
Yesuf EA
Hajikelil Z
Ali S
Azam K
Husen A
Yasin J
Wieser A
Al-Mekhlafi HM