keywords: Geohelminthes, stool, Formol-ether centrifugation, soil, public school, Zaria
The prevalence of geohelminth infection in children attending two public primary schools in Samaru, Zaria, Nigeria was studied, using stool samples and soil collected from various parts of the schools. The samples were analysed using formol-ether concentration method and observed under the microscope to check for the presence of the ova/eggs of geohelminthes. The overall prevalence of geohelminth eggs in soil samples was found to be 59.4% in both schools (Saidu Primary School: 26.5%; Amina Primary School: 32.8%). This is distributed as follows: eggs of Hookworm (28.1%), Taenia spp. (18.8%) and Trichuris trichuira (12.5%). The overall prevalence of geohelminth eggs in the stool samples of hundred pupils examined in both schools was 30% (Saidu Pri. School: 14%; Amina Pri. School: 16%) with distribution as follows; eggs of Hookworm (13%), Ascaris lumbricoides (7%), Taenia spp. (7%), T. trichiura (2%) and larvae of Strongyloides (1%). Children aged 5 – 9 years showed higher prevalence (16%) than those aged 10 – 14 years (14%). Prevalence of the infection was higher in males (19%) than in females (11%). The responses from questionnaires administered revealed that factors such as playing with soil, irregular hand-washing habits and infrequent use of footwear played a vital role in the transmission of geohelminthes in children.