Intestinal Helminth Infection, Anemia, Undernutrition and Academic Performance among School Children in Northwestern Ethiopia

Abraham Degarege, Berhanu Erko, Yohannes Negash, Abebe Animut

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations

Abstract

This study examined the prevalence and intensity of intestinal helminth infections and their association with anemia, undernutrition, and academic performance among school children in Maksegnit, northwestern Ethiopia. A total of 1205 school children, who attended Maksegnit Number Two Elementary School between May and July 2021, participated in this study. To determine helminth infection status, two thick Kato–Katz slides were examined for each child. Hemoglobin level was measured using a HemoCue machine. Academic performance was assessed using the mean score of all subjects children have taken for the Spring 2020/2021 academic term. Out of 1205 children examined, 45.4% were infected with at least one helminth species, 7.9% were anemic, and 35.8% were undernourished. The means for hemoglobin level and z-scores of weight for age, height for age, body mass index for age, and academic scores were lower among helminth-infected children than the uninfected. Children infected with intestinal helminths showed higher odds of anemia than those uninfected with helminths. In conclusion, there was a moderate prevalence of intestinal helminth infection and undernutrition among school children in Maksegnit. Intestinal helminth infection could increase the risk of anemia, undernutrition, and poor academic performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number1353
JournalMicroorganisms
Volume10
Issue number7
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

Keywords

  • academic performance
  • anemia
  • helminth
  • hemoglobin level
  • undernutrition

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology
  • Microbiology (medical)
  • Virology

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