Community-level epidemiology of intestinal helminth infections and anemia in Harbu Town, northeastern Ethiopia

Elifaged Hailemeskel, Berhanu Erko, Abraham Degarege

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Anemia and intestinal helminth infections are overlapping health problems in developing countries. This study examined the determinants of intestinal helminth infection and anemia in a human population in Harbu Town, northeastern Ethiopia. A total of 484 individuals provided stool and blood samples as well as information about their sociodemographic characteristics and living practices in a community-based cross-sectional survey conducted between May and June, 2013. Stool specimens were examined for intestinal helminth infections using the Kato–Katz method. While a HemoCue machine was used to measure blood hemoglobin levels, a CareStartTM malaria Pf/Pv combo test was used to test the blood specimens for Plasmodium infection. Out of 484 individuals examined, 15.5% were anemic and 32.0% were infected with intestinal helminths. Plasmodium infection was not detected in any of the study participants. Schistosoma mansoni infection was most common (26.7%) followed by Hymenolepis nana (4.1%). The prevalence of S. mansoni and H. nana infection was greater among school-age children than in pre-school-age children and adults. The prevalence of helminth infection decreased with an increase in monthly income (P = 0.048) and varied among different occupations (P = 0.023). The odds of anemia increased with an increase in the age of individuals (adjusted odds ratio = 1.03, 95% CI = 1.01, 1.06). Hookworm infection was associated with anemia (P = 0.029). In conclusion, intestinal helminth infections and anemia were public health problems among the community of Harbu Town. Increasing age and hookworm infection may increase susceptibility to anemia. Controlling helminth infection may help to reduce the burden of anemia in Harbu Town, Ethiopia.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3451-3457
Number of pages7
JournalParasitology research
Issue number10
StatePublished - Oct 1 2020


  • Anemia
  • Ethiopia
  • Harbu
  • Helminths
  • Hemoglobin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Parasitology
  • General Veterinary
  • Insect Science
  • Infectious Diseases


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