Prevalence of Plasmodium and Soil-Transmitted Helminth Coinfection and Associated Factors among Malaria-Suspected Patients Attending Shewa Robit Health Center, North-Central Ethiopia

Geletaw Asemahegn Mehal Meda General Hospital, North Shewa Zone, Amhara National Regional Health Bureau, Ethiopia;

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Tadesse Hailu Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

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Animen Ayehu Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia

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Plasmodium and soil-transmitted helminth (STH) coinfection is a major public health problem in developing countries. Its prevalence and associated factors are poorly addressed in the available research. Therefore, this study aimed to assess Plasmodium–STH coinfection prevalence and associated factors among malaria-suspected patients attending Shewa Robit Health Center, north-central Ethiopia. A cross-sectional study was conducted among 379 malaria-suspected patients attending Shewa Robit Health Center from April to May 2023. Stool and blood samples were collected from each participant. Plasmodium and STHs were detected from blood and stool samples by using blood film and the Kato–Katz method, respectively. Data were entered into Epi Info version 7 and analyzed by SPSS version 26. Descriptive statistics were used to compute Plasmodium–STH coinfection. Logistic regression was used to identify associated factors. Variables with a P-value <0.05 were considered statistically significant. Among the study participants, 27.9%, 20.3%, and 13.4% were positive for Plasmodium, STHs, and Plasmodium–STH coinfection, respectively. The prevalence of Plasmodium–Ascaris lumbricoides coinfection was high (7.6%). Unavailability of insecticide-treated bed nets (ITNs), improper use of ITNs, absence of indoor residual spraying, presence of stagnant water, and previous malaria infection were significantly associated (P <0.01) with Plasmodium infection. Being illiterate, using an unimproved latrine, having an untrimmed fingernail, and practicing open defecation were also significantly associated (P <0.03), with STH infection. Being male, illiterate, and living in rural areas were significantly associated (P <0.03) with Plasmodium–STH coinfection. The prevalence of Plasmodium–STH coinfection was high in malaria-endemic areas. Therefore, malaria-suspected cases should be checked for STH infection.

Author Notes

Financial support: The budget for this project was covered by Bahir Dar University and the Amhara National Regional State Health Bureau. The funding body was not involved in the collection, analysis, and interpretation of data or in writing the manuscript.

Disclosure: Ethical approval was first obtained from the Ethical Review Committee of the College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bahir Dar University (protocol no. 742/2023).

Authors’ addresses: Geletaw Asemahegn, Mehal Meda General Hospital, North Shewa Zone, Amhara Regional Health Bureau, Ethiopia, E-mail: geletawase2014@gmail.com. Tadesse Hailu and Animen Ayehu, Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia, E-mails: tadessehailu89@gmail.com and anex296ayehu.utd@gmail.com

Address correspondence to Tadesse Hailu, Department of Medical Laboratory Science, College of Medicine and Health Sciences, Bahir Dar University, Bahir Dar, Ethiopia. E-mail: tadessehailu89@gmail.com
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