The prevalence of malnutrition and geo-helminth infections among primary schoolchildren in Rural Kelantan

Zulkifli, Azman and Abdullah, Khairul Anuar and Ab Sallam, Atiya and Yano, A. (2000) The prevalence of malnutrition and geo-helminth infections among primary schoolchildren in Rural Kelantan. Southeast Asian Journal of Tropical Medicine and Public Health, 31 (2). pp. 339-345. ISSN 0125-1562,

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A cross-sectional study of the nutritional status of schoolchildren aged 7-10 years from the Kuala Betis Resettlement Scheme in Gua Musang, Kelantan was done. A total of 291 schoolchildren were examined but only 183 (62.9%) fecal samples were returned for geo-helminth infection analysis. The prevalence of stunting was 40.4% and underweight was 28.4%. A total of 127 schoolchildren (69.4%) were positive for at least one of the 3 geo-helminth infections. The most common geo-helminth was Ascaris lumbricoides (62.8%), followed by Trichuris trichiura (38.9%), and hookworm infection was relatively low (12.6%). All the anthropometric indices measured were lower in the geo-helminth infected children compared to the uninfected childen, except for the weight-for-height z-score. However the differences were insignificant. Geo-helminth infections may not be a significant factor in malnutrition of these schoolchildren. However, with the availability of safe, efficacious and cheap broad spectrum anthelmintics, regular mass treatment should be given in selected areas where the prevalence of geo-helminth infections is still high, so that these schoolchildren will be able to achieve their growth potential during their school years.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Ascariasis; Body Height; Body Weight; Child; Cross-Sectional Studies; Female; Hookworm Infections; Humans; Malaysia; Male; Nematode Infections; Nutrition Disorders; Nutritional Status; Prevalence; Rural Health; Trichuriasis
Subjects: R Medicine
Divisions: Faculty of Medicine
Depositing User: Ms. Juhaida Abd Rahim
Date Deposited: 12 Apr 2021 00:55
Last Modified: 12 Apr 2021 00:55

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