Prevalence of helminthic infections and determinant factors among pregnant women in Mecha district, Northwest Ethiopia: a cross sectional study

BMC Infect Dis. 2018 Aug 6;18(1):373. doi: 10.1186/s12879-018-3291-6.


Background: Intestinal parasites are the most common infections in developing countries. Prevalence and impacts of these parasites are high in pregnant women. The aims of this study were to determine prevalence of helminthic infection and evaluate the determinant factors during pregnancy.

Methods: A cross-sectional study was conducted in Mecha district from November 2015 to January 2016. The data were collected by interview technique and collecting the stool sample from each pregnant woman. Descriptive statistics and binary logistic regression were used.

Results: A total of 783 pregnant women were included. The prevalence of intestinal parasite among pregnant women was 70.6% [95% CI 67 -74%]. Ascaris lumbricoides (32.7%) was the predominant intestinal parasite species. Intestinal parasitic infection were 2.94 folds higher in the absence of latrine (AOR: 2.94 [95% CI: 1.5-5.8]). Absence of regular hand washing habit increase the odds of infection by 3.33 folds higher (AOR: 3.33 [95% CI: 1.54-7.14]). Not wearing shoe increased the odds of helminthic infection by 6.87 folds higher (AOR: 6.87 [95% CI: 3.67-12.9]). Illiteracy increases the odds of intestinal parasitic infection by 2.32 folds higher (AOR: 2.32 [95% CI: 1.04-5.26]). Ingestion of raw vegetables increases the odds of intestinal parasitic infection by 2.65 folds higher (AOR: 2.65 [95% CI: 3.23-9.9]). The odds of intestinal parasitic infection were higher in rural areas (AOR: 2 [95% CI: 5-10]). Intestinal parasitic infection was higher in women aged less than 21 years (AOR: 6.48 [95% CI: 2.91-14.4]).

Conclusion: The prevalence of helminthic infection is high in this study. Latrine utilization, hand washing habit, eating raw vegetables and bare foot were the major determinant factors for the high prevalence. Therefore, health education and improvements in sanitary infrastructure could achieve long-term and sustainable reductions in helminth prevalence.

Keywords: Determinants; Ethiopia; Intestinal parasite; Pregnant women; Prevalence.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Animals
  • Ascariasis / epidemiology
  • Cross-Sectional Studies
  • Ethiopia / epidemiology
  • Female
  • Hand Disinfection
  • Helminthiasis / epidemiology
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Diseases, Parasitic / epidemiology*
  • Logistic Models
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Parasitic / epidemiology*
  • Prevalence
  • Risk Factors