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Intestinal helminthic infection and anemia among pregnant women attending ante-natal care (ANC) in East Wollega, Oromia, Ethiopia.

BMC Res Notes; 10(1): 440, 2017 Sep 05.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-28870241

BACKGROUND:

Ethiopia is a developing country where intestinal helminthic infections are major public health problems. The burden of intestinal parasites, particularly the soil-transmitted helminths (STHs), is often very high in school children and pregnant women. Anemia, associated with STH, is a major factor in women's health, especially during pregnancy; it is an important contributor to maternal mortality. The aim of this study was to determine the prevalence of intestinal helminthic infection and anemia among pregnant women attending ANC in East Wollega Zone, Ethiopia.

METHODS:

A cross-sectional study was conducted in five health centers of East Wollega Zone of Oromia Region, Ethiopia between November 2015 and January 2016. The health centers were selected randomly and study participants were enrolled consecutively with proportions from all the health centers. Stool and blood specimens were processed using standard operating procedures in accordance with structured questionnaires. Logistic regression models were applied to assess the association between predictors and outcome variables. P values less than 0.05 were taken as significant levels. Results were presented in tables and figures.

RESULTS:

A total of 372 pregnant women were enrolled in this study with a median age of 25 years (range 17-40 years). The total prevalence of intestinal helminths was 24.7% (92/372) with the predominance of Hookworm (15.1%) followed by Ascaris lumbricoides (6.5%). Illiteracy [AOR, 95% CI 2.21 (1.3, 4.8), P = 0.042], absence of latrine [AOR, 95% CI 4.62 (1.7, 8.3), P = 0.013] and regular consumption of raw and/or unwashed fruit [AOR, 95% CI 3.30 (1.2, 6.3), P = 0.011] were significant predictors of intestinal helminthic infection. The overall prevalence of anemia was 17.5% (65/372) where mild anemia accounts for 80% of the total anemia. Anemia was significantly associated with the first trimester of gestation [AOR, 95% CI 2.82 (1.3, 6.2), P = 0.009], previous malaria infection [AOR, 95% CI 2.32 (1.3, 5.3), P = 0.003], failing to take iron supplements regularly [AOR, 95% CI 1.82 (1.1, 4.8), P = 0.022] and infection with intestinal helminths specifically with Hookworm (P = 0.001) and Ascaris lumbricoides (P = 0.022).

CONCLUSION:

The prevalence of intestinal helminths and anemia was significantly high in this study. Different socio-demographic, lifestyle and obstetric factors were identified as significant contributors of intestinal helminthic infection and anemia among pregnant women. Therefore, public health measures and intensive antenatal care services are vital to promoting safe pregnancy.