Prevalence of amoebiasis and the factors associated with its transmission among patients attending Longisa County Hospital, Bomet County, Kenya
Amoebiasis is a common life-threatening parasitic disease affecting 12% of the world population. It is the third leading cause of mortality due to parasitic infections worldwide, after malaria and schistosomiasis. It is estimated that about 500 million people are at risk of infection with amoebiasis yearly. In developed countries infection occurs among travelers, recent immigrants from endemic regions, homosexual males, immune-compromised persons and institutionalized individuals. In less developed and developing countries, infection occurs more commonly in areas of low socio-economic status, poor sanitation and nutrition. In Kenya, there is no continuous surveillance system to combat amoebiasis hence its real prevalence remains unknown in most parts of the country including Bomet County.Cases of amoebiasis have been reported in most health facilities in Bomet County. It is with this regard that the study sought to determine the prevalence and transmission risks factors associated with amoebiasis in Longisa County Hospital in Bomet County, Kenya. The study involved a retrospective survey through evaluation of data from hospital records for a period of five years, from January 2009 to December 2013. The study also employed cross sectional survey by collecting 255 stool samples through purposive sampling. Macroscopic and microscopic examination of stool was used to investigate amoebiasis in the laboratory. Macroscopically, stool samples were checked for the presence of mucus, blood, consistency of the stool and colour. Microscopically, direct saline and iodine wet mount was used to identify Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites and cysts. Data on transmission risk factors was collected through questionnaires and from hospital check list. Data were entered in Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) then analysis carried out to determine relationship between prevalence of amoebiasis and various variables such as age, location, socioeconomic status, and personal hygiene, and water source, waste disposal, diet and level of education. The results are presented using graphs and tables. The study revealed that out of 5480 stool samples examined at the hospital laboratory during the period January 2009 to December 2013, 1574 (28.72%) stool tests were positive for amoebiasis of which 10.47% were adult males while 15.76% were adult females. The least affected age group was the under five years at 2.37% in the retrospective study. In the cross-sectional study, out of the 255 patients interviewed and their stool examined for Entamoeba histolytica trophozoites and cysts, 11.76% adult females, 7.06% adult males and 0.78% children under the age of five years tested positive for amoebiasis. Most of the patients interviewed were farmers (60.8%).Majority of the patients obtained water for domestic use from open earth dams (38.8%) and rivers (29.0%). Source of water for domestic use and unhygienic personal practices played a key role in acquiring the parasite. The findings of this study will be used in informing the County health professionals on the extent of amoebiasis hence help in designing control and preventive measures in Bomet County. It is therefore recommended that, the government through the ministry of health and non-governmental organizations should focus on provisionsafe water and campaigns on improving personal hygiene to combat the disease in Bom0et County.
- MST-Zoological Sciences