Decreasing prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among school-aged children in Nepal: a systematic review and meta-analysis

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Abstract

Background

In the last two decades there have been several studies describing the prevalence of intestinal parasites in Nepal; however, there is a lack of surveillance data in the country.

Methods

We searched literature in PubMed, MEDLINE, EMBASE, Google Scholar and local peer-reviewed journals published from 1990 to 2015 for studies describing prevalence of intestinal parasites among school-aged children. We conducted meta-regression to understand the trend over time and pooled the prevalence using ‘metaprop’ command in STATA 12.1.

Results

Thirty-one studies examining 12 080 fecal specimens were included. The prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections showed a significantly decreasing trend (OR 0.56; 95% CI 0.43–0.73 for each consecutive 5 years) and was similar in males and females. The pooled prevalence in years 1996–2000, 2001–2005, 2006–2010 and 2011–2015 was 61.1% (95% CI 51.47–70.26), 53.2% (95% CI 20.94–83.99), 32.7% (95% CI 26.57–39.21) and 20.4% (95% CI 15.04–26.25), respectively. The proportion of helminths among total intestinal parasites was higher in rural areas 57.6% (95% CI 43.54–71.61), and proportion of protozoa among total intestinal parasites was higher in urban areas 68.4% (95% CI 63.23–73.62). Poly-parasitism was observed in 7.7% (95% CI 5.57–9.73) of children.

Conclusion

We observed a significantly decreasing trend in prevalence of intestinal parasitic infections among school-aged children in Nepal over the last two decades.

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