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Journal of Tropical Medicine
Volume 2017 (2017), Article ID 1013802, 12 pages
Research Article

Prevalence of Soil-Transmitted Helminthiases and Schistosomiasis in Preschool Age Children in Mwea Division, Kirinyaga South District, Kirinyaga County, and Their Potential Effect on Physical Growth

1Institute of Tropical Medicine and Infectious Diseases (ITROMID), Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), P.O. Box 62000, Nairobi 00200, Kenya
2College of Health Sciences, Jomo Kenyatta University of Agriculture and Technology (JKUAT), P.O. Box 62000, Nairobi 00200, Kenya
3Centre for Biotechnology Research and Development, Kenya Medical Research Institute (KEMRI), P.O. Box 54840, Nairobi 00200, Kenya

Correspondence should be addressed to Stephen Sifuna Wefwafwa Sakari

Received 14 February 2017; Accepted 21 June 2017; Published 23 August 2017

Academic Editor: Jean-Paul J. Gonzalez

Copyright © 2017 Stephen Sifuna Wefwafwa Sakari et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Intestinal parasitic infections can significantly contribute to the burden of disease, may cause nutritional and energetic stress, and negatively impact the quality of life in low income countries of the world. This cross-sectional study done in Mwea irrigation scheme, in Kirinyaga, central Kenya, assessed the public health significance of soil-transmitted helminthiases (STH), schistosomiasis, and other intestinal parasitic infections, among 361 preschool age children (PSAC) through fecal examination, by measuring anthropometric indices, and through their parents/guardians, by obtaining sociodemographic information. Both intestinal helminth and protozoan infections were detected, and, among the soil-transmitted helminth parasites, there were Ascaris lumbricoides (prevalence, 3%), Ancylostoma duodenale (<1%), and Trichuris trichiura (<1%). Other intestinal helminths were Hymenolepis nana (prevalence, 3.6%) and Enterobius vermicularis (<1%). Schistosoma mansoni occurred at a prevalence of 5.5%. Interestingly, the protozoan, Giardia lamblia (prevalence, 14.7%), was the most common among the PSAC. Other protozoans were Entamoeba coli (3.9%) and Entamoeba histolytica (<1). Anthropometric indices showed evidence of malnutrition. Intestinal parasites were associated with hand washing behavior, family size, water purification, and home location. These findings suggest that G. lamblia infection and malnutrition may be significant causes of ill health among the PSAC in Mwea, and, therefore, an intervention plan is needed.