Intestinal Parasitic Infestation in School Going Children (less than ten Years of Age) in Rishikesh, Uttarakhand, India.
Background: Intestinal parasitism remains a common problem in school going children. Lack of personal hygiene, sanitation and safe drinking water remain the major causes of IP. Hence, creating awareness, ban on open defecation and provision of safe drinking water should be the mandate of any ruling government. Aims & Objectives: To study the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infestation in school going children less than ten years of age and to study the relation of type of water supply and sanitation with intestinal parasitic infestation. Material and Methods: A cross sectional study was carried out in schools of Rishikesh from July to August 2014.A total of 461 stool samples were collected from school going children under ten years of age. All stool samples were transported to Microbiology laboratory immediately. The study used pre-tested self-administered questionnaire. The normal saline and iodine mounts of fresh samples were examined and further all the samples were subjected to saturated salt solution concentration. Modified Ziehl Neelsen staining was done for detection of coccidian parasites. Statistical analysis used: The statistical significance within gender, age, drinking water supply, sanitation and other socio-demographic parameters was assessed by the use of Chi-square test. Results: Out of 461 stool samples, 112 (24.3%) were positive for intestinal parasites and out of 112 positive samples, 6 were found positive for more than one parasite. The overall prevalence of infection was found to be 24.3%. Out of 112 positive faecal samples; Giardia lamblia was the commonest parasite (15.2%) followed by Hymenolepis nana (2.38%), Hookworm (2.17%), Enterobius vermicularis (2.17%), Entamoeba histolytica (2.17%), Ascaris lumbricoides (0.86%), and Cryptosporidium parvum (0.86%). 96 samples were positive before concentration and 16 samples were positive after concentration. Conclusions: Due to lack of proper sanitation & education along with low socioeconomic background IP infections are still prevalent among school children and remains as a common health problem. Regular awareness program on promoting good health, maintenance of proper personal hygiene and carrying out regular deworming in schools should be instituted.