Factors that influence the practice of mothers towards geohelminthic infections control in Kibera ,Nairobi, Kenya
Kung'u, Margaret Wairimu
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Geohelminths occur throughout the world in humid environments where sanitation is poor. The most common geohelminths include; Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus. Geohelminths are responsible for, anaemia, malnutrition, and stunted physical and mental growth, in their host. The factors influencing the practice of mothers towards geohelminthic infections control in Kibera, Nairobi, were investigated. This was done by assessing the social-economic status of the mothers, their knowledge and practice towards geohelminthic infections. This was a cross-sectional study that involved 400 mothers attending Maternal Child Health clinics at three health facilities that serve Kibera slum residents. The health facilities involved in the study were selected by simple random sampling. These were: Mbagathi hospital, Langata health centre and Woodley clinic. Proportionate to size sampling was used to determine the number of mothers that participated from each health facility. The overall prevalence of helminths was 62%. The results of this study showed that mothers had low level of formal education with 76.3% having no secondary education. No significant association was found between the level of education of the mothers and deworming practice (x2 =4.272, df 4; P=0.370). The familys' level of income was low with 71.5% of the families earning between Ksh 2000 and Ksh 5000 ($25-62.5) per month. No significant statistical association was found between the family's level of income and deworming practice (x2 =5.452, df 3; P=0.142). The mothers had low level of knowledge on both the symptoms and mode of transmission of geohelminths. Significant statistical associations were found between the level of knowledge of transmission and deworming practice (x2=12.766, df 3; P=0.005), and between the level of knowledge of symptoms and deworming practice among the mothers (x2=13.584, df 3; P=0.004). Although 96% of the mothers had latrines within their compounds, 28% of these latrines were full hence not usable. 51.8% of these latrines had more than 30 users hence difficult to maintain them clean, while 33.8% of the latrines were more than 50m away from the living house. There was a significant statistical association between the knowledge of transmission and the amount of water used per household (x2=21.969, df 12; P=0.038). The results of this study suggest that the mothers are not adequately equipped with knowledge on both the mode of transmission and symptoms associated with geohelminthic infections. Health care providers need to give priority to health education of the mothers on the mode of transmission and the symptoms of geohelminthic infections. The government needs to enforce policies that will ensure that latrines are available and usable.
- MST-Zoological Sciences