Intestinal parasitic infections and anaemia among pregnant women in the highlands of Papua New Guinea

P N G Med J. Sep-Dec 2013;56(3-4):119-25.


This study determined the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections and associations with risk factors among pregnant women in their second or third trimester in Goroka, Eastern Highlands Province, Papua New Guinea. Among the 201 pregnant women enrolled in this study, 163 (81%) were infected with one or more intestinal parasites. Infections with protozoan parasites (65%) were more prevalent than infections with nematodes (31%); protozoan infections included Entamoeba histolytica (43%), Giardia lamblia (39%) and Pentatrichomonas hominis (14%), and nematode infections included hookworm (18%), Ascaris lumbricoides (14%), Strongyloides stercoralis (3%) and Trichuris trichiura (2%). Factors associated with higher risk of intestinal parasitic infections in pregnancy included being a primigravida for protozoan-only infections and education limited to primary school for nematode infections. Altitude-adjusted haemoglobin levels were assessed at the beginning of labour for 110 women, with 69 (63%) found to be anaemic (haemoglobin < 11 g/dl). There were no associations found between being infected in pregnancy and anaemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia / epidemiology*
  • Feces / parasitology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / epidemiology*
  • Papua New Guinea / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors
  • Surveys and Questionnaires