Prevalence rates of intestinal parasites in four communities in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania

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University of Dar es Salaam
Accumulating hospital data indicating high endemicity of intestinal parasites causing considerable morbidity and appreciable mortality unsupported by accurate epidemiological information about the real situation in the communities particularly the economically active rural agricultural population prompted this prevalence survey to the conducted in Kilimanjaro. It should be obvious that such epidemiological information would not only serve as base-line data for comparison with other and future studies but would also be a useful tool for the evaluation of control measures. In view of the accumulating clinical evidence of high endemicity of both intestinal helminthes and protozoa it was decided to carry out a survey to determine the prevalence rates of these parasites in this part of the country. The areas surveyed were from East to West, Shimbi-Kati in Rombo district; Mamba Kotela in Moshi rural district; Njoro area of Moshi urban district and Masama Modio in Hai district. The survey showed intestinal helmths to be very prevalent in Kilimanjaro. A total of 1,333 stools were examined from four localities and the data show that Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura are very prevalent in the rural areas. The overall prevalence of intestinal helminthes ranged from 17.1% in the urban area to 68.1% in Mamba Kotela (rural area). Rainfall is suggested as a possible cause of differences in prevalence of Ascaris and Trichuris in different localities. Taeniasis is found to be relatively highly prevalent in some localities. People’s habits as well as the importation of infected cattle are possibly responsible for the high prevalence and the differences in different areas. Hookworm, on the other hand, is less prevalent. This could be due to the clay soils which are known to be prohibitive to this parasite. Environmental sanitation is poor and in some areas as Masama Modio could be described as appalling. The level of insanitation reflects a failure on the part of health education to make an impact in people’s minds. It is suggested that efforts on this aspect should be redoubled and should be strongly backed politically. Combined and sustained control measures rather than single episodic efforts should be instituted. A study of the water supply shows that piped water is generally safe. But unsafe water from furrows is not uncommonly used in some areas and may even be the chief source of drinking water
Worms, Kilimanjaro (District), Tanzania, Intestinal and parasitic
Kihamia, C M.(1977)Prevalence rates of intestinal parasites in four communities in Kilimanjaro, Tanzania, Masters dissertation, University of Dar es Salaam. Available at (