SOIL-TRANSMITTED HELMINTHS IN RELATION TO HEMOGLOBIN STATUS AMONG SCHOOL CHILDREN OF THE KASHMIR VALLEY

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Abstract

Soil-transmitted helminths (STHs) remain a major threat to the health of children throughout the world, mostly in developing nations. The aim of the present study was to determine any relationship between STHs and hemoglobin status in school children of Kashmir Valley (India). Stool and blood samples were collected from 382 male and female school children in the age group of 5–15 yr from all 6 school districts of the Kashmir Valley. Finger-prick blood samples were used to collect the hemoglobin, which was then measured on-site by Sahli's acid hematin method; stool samples were processed using both simple smear and zinc sulphate concentration methods. Of the 382 children surveyed, 299 (78.27%) were infected with Ascaris lumbricoides, Trichuris trichiura, or both. Children infected by STHs were found to have lower mean values of hemoglobin than uninfected children. The present study reveals that STHs are abundant among school children of Kashmir Valley, creating a negative effect on the hemoglobin values and indicating the necessity of implementing control measures.

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