Status of Soil-transmitted helminthiasis among pregnant women attending antenatal clinic in Kilifi county hospital, Kenya
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Soil-transmitted helminthes (STH) refers to parasites whose life cycle depends on a period of development outside the human host typically in a moist or warm soil. The most important geohelminths are; roundworms (Ascaris lumbricoides), whipworms (Trichuris trichiura) and hookworms (Necator americanus and Ancylostoma duodenale). The study aimed at investigating the current epidemiological status of soil-transmitted helminth infections among pregnant women in Kilifi County hospital (KCH) following the intervention of preventive chemotherapy. Data collection and analysis involved evaluation of transmission trends of geohelminths from the previous surveys/ hospital records, use of direct fecal smears and Kato-Katz smears in estimation of prevalence and infection intensity and the use of structured questionnaires for the assessment of the predisposing factors associated with STH infections. Logistic regression analysis was employed to determine the risk factors associated with STH infections. A total of 191 stool samples were collected and analyzed. Three species of soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) were identified with the overall prevalence of any STH infection being 16.75%. Trichuris trichiura was predominant (8.38 %), followed by A. lumbricoides (7.85%) then hookworms (6.29 %).About 10.99% of the participants had a single worm infection, 5.76 % had double co-infections and none of the participants had triple infection. Preventive chemotherapy appears to give maximal returns in terms of reducing significantly the number of geohelminths reported since 2001. The study recommended the routine stool analysis in the antenatal profile, provision of alternative sources of iron to the pregnant women in order to reduce the tendency for soil consumption and the associated risk of STH infections, provision of safe water for domestic use, improved sanitation and proper personal hygiene (WASH).