VOLUME 15 (Supplement)

SciEnggJ 15 (Supplement) 048-054
available online: December 31, 2022

*Corresponding author
Email address: vybelizario@up.edu.ph
Date received: March 12, 2022
Date revised: July 06, 2022
Date accepted: October 03, 2022


Soil-transmitted helminthiases in school-age children following more than a decade of control program implementation in Roxas City

Vicente Y. Belizario*1, Deanna Lis Pauline F. Cubarrubias2, Lynnell Alexie D. Ong2, Agnes Q. Villarruz3, and Leo C. Biclare4

1College of Public Health, University of the Philippines Manila,
      Manila 1101, Philippines
2Neglected Tropical Disease Study Group,
      University of the Philippines Manila, Manila 1101, Philippines
3Gerry Roxas Foundation, Roxas City 5800, Capiz, Philippines
4Capiz Provincial Health Office, Roxas City 5800, Capiz, Philippines

Objectives. The study aimed to describe the prevalence and intensity of soil-transmitted helminthiases (STH) as well as the nutritional status of school-age children in non-sentinel public elementary schools in selected barangays in Roxas City, Capiz, the Philippines, a decade after implementation of mass drug administration (MDA). Methods. Children in grades one to six were targeted as participants. For the parasitological assessment, stool samples were collected, processed, and examined using Kato-Katz technique to determine the presence of STH. Prevalence of any STH and moderate-heavy intensity (MHI) infections as well as the prevalence of infection and MHI for each parasite species were derived. For the nutritional assessment, anthropometric and hemoglobin measurements were collected. Prevalence of underweight, stunting, wasting, and anemia were derived. Association between STH and nutritional status was determined. Results. A total of 251 children underwent parasitological assessment. Of these, 220 participated in the nutritional assessment. High prevalence of STH (66.9%) and MHI STH (39.4%) as well as high prevalence of underweight (22.6%) and stunting (30.4%) were seen, while moderate prevalence of wasting (8.3%) and anemia (12.7%) were observed. Underweight, wasting, and stunting were significantly associated with high prevalence of MHI trichuriasis (p-value <0.035), while anemia was significantly associated with high prevalence of any STH and ascariasis (p-value <0.032). Conclusion. STH remains a major public health concern among children in non-sentinel public elementary schools despite implementation of MDA for more than a decade. The findings of high prevalence and intensity of STH as well as the high rates of undernutrition suggest the need to identify and address the underlying causes of these continuing health challenges which may include limited access to MDA as well as water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) facilities. Multisectoral collaboration among the STH control, nutrition, and WASH sectors is necessary to help enhance disease control and improve health outcomes.

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