Publisher: University of Calabar Teaching Hospital

Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Infections Among Inmates of Calabar Prison, Cross River State, Nigeria

U. L. Obong, M. F. Useh, I. B. Otu-bassey
KEYWORDS: Intestinal parasites, Prevalence, Prison, Inmates, Calabar


The prevalence of intestinal parasites was investigated among 200 randomly selected inmates of Calabar prison, Calabar, Nigeria between May and July, 2008. The faeces of inmates were examined using the wet mount, formol­ether concentration and rapid safranin techniques while the Graham's scotch tape technique was used for collection of anal swabs for detection of Enterobius vermic11/aris eggs. The overall prevalence of intestinal parasitic infection was 148(74.0%). The most prevalent parasite was hookworm (32.9%) followed in descending order by Enterobius vermicularis (15.7%), Entamoeba hislolytica ( 11.2% ), Ascaris lumbricoides and Giardia lamb/ia ( I 0.6% ), respectively. Other intestinal parasites encountered were Cryptosporidium pan•um (7.1 % ), Trichuris trichiura ( 6.1 % ), Strongyloides stercoralis (2.5% ), Cyclospora species ( 1.5% ), Taenia species ( 1.0%) and Schistosoma mansoni ( 0.5% ). The overall prevalence of multiple infections was 33. J % as against monoparasitism (66.9%) amongst 148 infected subjects. Cases of double infection ranked highest with 81.6% prevalence followed by those with three parasites ( 14.3%) and four parasites ( 4.1 % ). Infection rate was significantly higher among inmates in the overcrowded prison cells than among those in the less crowded cells (75.9% v. 46.2%, P= 0.019). The high infection rate recorded in the study was attributed to overcrowding. Poor personal/public hygiene, lowlevel of education, welfare deficiencies with poor medical attention were other likely risk factors.

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