Helminth infection in southern Laos: high prevalence and low awareness

Title
Helminth infection in southern Laos: high prevalence and low awareness
Authors
Phongluxa, K; Xayaseng, V; Vonghachack, Y; Akkhavong, K; van Eeuwijk, P; Odermatt, P
Keywords
OPISTHORCHIS-VIVERRINI INFECTION; FOOD-BORNE TREMATODIASIS; RISK-FACTORS; MEKONG BASIN; PDR; COMMUNITY; PROVINCE; EFFICACY; SCHOOLCHILDREN; EPIDEMIOLOGY
Issue Date
2013
Publisher
PARASITE VECTOR
Citation
Parasites Vectors;14-Nov;2013;6;
Abstract
Background: Helminthiasis is a public health concern in Lao People's Democratic Republic (Lao PDR, Laos). This study aimed to understand helminth infection and associated risk factors in relation to existing local knowledge, attitudes and practices regarding worm infections in endemic communities. Methods: A cross-sectional survey was conducted in 10 randomly selected villages in Saravane district, Southern Laos. Two stool samples obtained from 574 members (aged >= 2 years) of selected households were examined using the Kato Katz method. Household heads (n = 130) were interviewed. Eight focus group discussions (FGDs) and direct observations were performed. Uni- and multivariate logistic regression analyses were conducted to predict infection. Content analysis was conducted for qualitative data. Results: The prevalence of Opisthorchis viverrini, hookworm, Trichuris trichiura, Ascaris lumbricoides and Taenia sp. was 88.7%, 86.6%, 32.9%, 9.8% and 11.5%, respectively. Most individuals were co-infected with O. viverrini and hookworm. More men had multiple helminth infections than did women. Only one-third of household heads had heard about liver fluke before, of which 59.2% associated it with eating raw fish dish. Among the soil-transmitted helminths, roundworm was the most well known (70.8%) but was attributed to raw food consumption (91.3%). Eating raw fish was a common practice (75.4%); few households possessed a latrine (16.1%); less than half of the study participants mentioned health benefits from latrine use and personal hygiene. Focus group discussion participants had a low level of awareness of worm infections; more men liked eating raw fish than did women; some disliked using latrines because they were not used to it and because of their bad smell. Poor personal and village hygiene practices were observed. Conclusions: This study highlights a high helminth infection rate and poor community awareness of worm infections and associated risk factors. Only a sound awareness of worm infection and the underlying risk factors may prevent infection and re-infection after treatment.
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/11267/2513
ISSN
1756-3305
Appears in Collections:
2.Ministry of Health > Journal articles
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