TITLE

Ascariasis amongst the Orang Asli (aborigine) Children at Pos Sinderut, Kuala Lipis, Pahang, Malaysia

AUTHOR(S)
Ghani, Mohamed Kamel Abd.; Gopal, Geishamini
PUB. DATE
February 2013
SOURCE
International Medical Journal;Feb2013, Vol. 20 Issue 1, p64
SOURCE TYPE
Academic Journal
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
Introduction: Intestinal parasitic infections are still a major public health problem among the poor and underprivileged communities in Malaysia. Such infections including ascariasis may contribute to poor cognitive functions and learning ability. Improvements in socioeconomic status in Malaysia have shown positive impact on the reduction of intestinal parasitic infections in other communities, however, this positive impact is less significant in the Orang Asli communities. Objective: This study was undertaken to investigate the prevalence of Ascaris infections amongst the Orang Asli (aborigine) children at Pos Sinderut, Pahang. Materials and Methods: In this study, 272 Orang Asli primary school children aged 7-12 years were screened for the presence of Ascaris lumbricoides in faecal samples using the direct smear technique. Results: 45.6% (124/272) of the overall population had Ascaris lumbricoides infection comprising of 46.8% (67/143) females and 44.2% (57/129) males. This indicates the high level of environmental contamination with human feces and the poor state of personal hygiene and feeding practices of this community. The lower primary school group showed 50.4% infection whereas the higher primary school group showed 42%. Younger children may be particularly susceptible to the adverse effects of A. lumbricoides infections due to their incomplete physical development and their greater immunological vulnerability. Conclusion: The infection rate of Ascaris lumbricoides is high and thus necessitates frequent and periodic deworming among children. Public health personnel need to re-look at the current control measures and identify innovative and integrated ways in order to reduce ascariasis significantly in the rural communities. There is an urgent need to improve the hygiene, education and living standards of this population.
ACCESSION #
86403377

 

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