Prevalence of Intestinal Parasitic Infections Among Food Handlers & Hygienic Facilities in Selected Orphanage Centers in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Sintayehu Bedaso


According to the Ethiopian Central Statistics Agency report, in 2004; about 436,726 were orphan children by both parents throughout the country. Among those, Addis Ababa accounted 29,926 orphan children. However, in the capital city of Ethiopia, there are 99 orphanage centers. The centers give priority only to the availability of food but not of its safety. Thus, this study aimed at determining the prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among food handlers and the overall hygienic practices/facilities of the centers. A cross-sectional study was conducted from February to May 2010 in four orphanage centers using standardized and structured questionnaire. A total of eighty stool samples from all (40) food handlers were collected and examined through Direct Fecal Smear (DFS) technique for intstinal parasites. The findings of the study showed that 14(35%) of the food handlers from all (four) orphanage centers were infected with one of either protozoan or helmintheic parasites.  The most common intestinal parasitic infections encountered among these infected individuals were A. lumbricoides (50%), followed by E. histolytica (42.86%), G. lamblia (21.43%) and Taenia species (7.14%). Improper food storage, poor personal hygiene and food handling practices of the food handlers and poor sanitary facilities were also the major defects observed. Fifty percent of the floor and 75% of the walls and ceilings of the kitchens were found in poor sanitary conditions hugely contributing for food contamination. In general, the hygienic facilities of the centers were poor and high prevalence of the intestinal parasites with high possibility of their transmission to the children.

Keywords: orphanage centers, food handlers, intestinal parasites, hygienic practices and facility

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