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  • Author: Hussain S. Albahadely x
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Ihsan M. Al Saqur, Harith S. Al-Warid and Hussain S. Albahadely

Abstract

Background

Infections with helminths are associated with deficient sanitary facilities, unsafe human waste disposal, inadequate and lack of safe drinking water, and low socioeconomic status.

Objective

To determine the prevalence of some gastrointestinal helminths among Iraqi people, and association of infections with age, sex, and region in Iraq.

Method

This study is retrospective, including reported cases of infections using an available surveillance database from January 2013 to December 2013 of all provinces of Iraq by the Ministry of Health.

Result

The overall prevalence of gastrointestinal helminthiasis was 1.39%. Enterobius vermicularis found to be the predominant helminth parasite. No significant (P < 0.05) relationship was found between sex and infection, although male individuals tended to show greater helminthiasis, while a significant relationship was found between age and infection. The common infections were more frequent among the 5-14 year age group. We found a lower prevalence of helminth infections in the northern (Ninevah, Suleimaniyah, Ta’mim, Erbil, and Dohuk) and middle Euphrates (Babil, Karbala, Najaf, Qadisiyah, and Muthanna) region provinces, compared with the middle (Baghdad, Anbar, Diyala, and Salahuddin) and southern (Wasit, Dhi-qar, Misan, and Basrah) region provinces where the prevalence was higher.

Conclusion

In this study, we found lower prevalence of infections in Iraq than similar studies conducted in other parts of Asia, which may be a consequence of the sample size, seasonal diversity, general personal hygiene, and public health services.