By Kemi Olatunde
W e are in the part of the world where people give little or no attention to parasitic intestinal worms popularly known as Soil Transmitted Helminths(STH) maybe because they are not adequately informed about the effects or properly they feel that it is not among the diseases that need immediate attention.
Do you even know that these worms are parasites? Yes they are and can be divided into two; round and flat worm.
It is important to know that STH falls in the category of
Neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) which is a diverse group of communicable diseases that prevail in tropical and subtropical conditions in 149 countries. It affects more than one billion people and cost developing economies billions of dollars every year. Populations living in poverty, without adequate sanitation and in close contact with infectious vectors and domestic animals and livestock are those worst affected.
According to the state Tuberculosis and Leprosy Program Officer, Dr. Samuel Akingbesote, these worms are acquired by virtue of contact with the organism with either the larva or egg of the particular parasite.
In children, there are various types of worm infection that are of public health importance.
According to him, “once they get infected with the worms, it affects their growth physically and mentally.
” Once the worms get to compete for nutrients with the host, it prevents one from growing well in terms of height and mentally. It also gets to affect their social function.”
While dwelling on poor sanitation and water hygiene among peoplewhich is one of the major causes of STH, Akingbesote said; “if an individual is infected, he passes out the egg with feaces especially when it is done in the open and if there is poor sanitation, there is possibility of featal matter contaminating the vegetables around which might eventually be eaten by others especially when not adequately prepared.
” On the other hand if a person who comes in contact with the vegetable does not wash her hand before putting it in the mouth while eating, she becomes infected.”
According to World Health Organization (WHO), there are age range for deworming but it is advisable according to Akingbesote that countries with high prevalence of STH to deworm annually or biannually.
In Ondo State, it has been effective as gathered. There has been days set aside to carry out the task of deworming both children and adult especially in mostly prone areas.
According to the Neglected Tropical Diseases unit, Ondo State Primary Health Care Development Board, over 50,000 school age children in Irele Local Government were dewormed while over100,000 school children were also dewormed in Ilaje in the last exercise which was in April, 2018.
Adults were not left out as those who are considered to be prone to STH like farmers and fishermen among others were adequately attended to and for the two local governments, over 22,000 were given the required dosage of the deworming tablet.
However, Akingbesote advised adults to deworm once in a year saying “we are still in an endemic region for those worms and children should be dewormed biannually which is equivalent to six months.”
Intestinal worms, also known as parasitic worms, are one of the main types of intestinal parasites. Common types of intestinal worms include:
flatworms, which include tapeworms and flukes
roundworms, which cause ascariasis, pinworm, and hookworm infections
Read on to learn more about intestinal worms.
Common symptoms of intestinal worms are:
diarrhea, nausea, or vomiting
unexplained weight loss
abdominal pain or tenderness
A person with intestinal worms may also experience dysentery. Dysentery is when an intestinal infection causes diarrhea with blood and mucus in the stool. Intestinal worms can also cause a rash or itching around the rectum or vulva. In some cases, you will pass a worm in your stool during a bowel movement.
Some people may have intestinal worms for years without experiencing any symptoms.
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