Soil-transmitted helminth (STH) infections are highly prevalent in many developing countries, affecting the poorest and most deprived communities. We conducted school-based surveys among children studying in first to fifth standard in government schools in the Indian States of Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Tripura to estimate the prevalence and intensity of STH infections during November 2015 and January 2016. We adopted a two-stage cluster sampling design, with a random selection of districts within each agro-climatic zone in the first stage. In the second stage, government primary schools were selected by probability proportional to size method from the selected districts. We collected information about demographic details, water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) characteristics and stool samples from the school children. Stool samples were tested using Kato-Katz method. Stool samples from 3,313 school children (Chhattisgarh: 1,442, Telangana: 1,443, and Tripura: 428) were examined. The overall prevalence of any STH infection was 80.2% (95% confidence interval [CI]: 73.3–85.7) in Chhattisgarh, 60.7% (95% CI: 53.8–67.2) in Telangana, and 59.8% (95% CI: 49.0–69.7) in Tripura. Ascaris lumbricoides was the most prevalent STH infection in all three states. Most of the STH infections were of light intensity. Our study findings indicate that STH infections were highly prevalent among the school children in Chhattisgarh, Telangana, and Tripura, indicating the need for strengthening STH control program in these states. The prevalence estimates from the survey would serve as a baseline for documenting the impact of the National Deworming Day programs in these states.
Address correspondence to Manoj Murhekar, ICMR-National Institute of Epidemiology, R127, TNHB, Ayapakkam, Chennai 600077, India. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Financial support: This work was supported by the Children’s Investment Fund Foundation: CIFF.
Disclosure: The Institutional Ethics Committee of the Indian Council of Medical Research—National Institute of Epidemiology, Chennai, approved study protocols for each state. Written informed consent from parents of all students assenting to participate in the study was obtained prior to the interviews.