Prevalence, Intensity, and Correlates of Soil-Transmitted Helminth Infections among School Children after a Decade of Preventive Chemotherapy in Western Rwanda

Dec 21, 2020; Pathogens .


Preventive chemotherapy (PC) is a WHO-recommended core intervention measures to eliminate Soil-Transmitted Helminths (STH) as a public health problem by 2020, defined as a reduction in prevalence to <1% of moderate or high-intensity infection. We conducted a cross-sectional study to investigate the prevalence, intensity, and correlates of STH after a decade of PC in Rwanda. A total of 4998 school children (5–15 years old) from four districts along Lake Kivu in the western province were screened for STH using Kato-Katz. The overall prevalence of Soil-transmitted helminths among school children was 77.7% (range between districts = 54% to 92%). Trichirus trichiura was the most common STH (66.8%, range between districts = 23% to 88.2%), followed by Ascaris lumbricoides (49.9%, range between district = 28.5% to 63.3%) and hookworms (1.9%, range between districts = 0.6% to 2.9%). The prevalence of single, double and of triple parasite coinfection were 48.6%, 50.3%, and 1.1%, respectively. The overall prevalence of moderate or high-intensity infection for Trichirus trichiura and Ascaris lumbricoides was 7.1% and 13.9, respectively. Multivariate logistic regression model revealed that male sex, district, stunting, and schistosomiasis coinfection as significant predictors of STH infection. Despite a decade of PC implementation, STH remain a significant public health problem in Rwanda.

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