Behavioral Risk Factors of Intestinal Parasitic Infection among Male Adolescents in Orphanage in Pathum Thani Province, Thailand

Preeyaporn Monatrakul, Supaluk Popruk, Apichai Sreepian

Abstract


Intestinal parasitic infection is widely prevalent in rural areas, slums, and orphanages. Previous study reported high prevalence (36.7%) of intestinal parasites in male orphans.  This study aimed to investigate hygienic behaviors, and to evaluate the risk factors associated with intestinal parasitic infection in the orphanage located in Pathum Thani Province, Thailand.  Eighty-five subjects [infected group (n=32) and non-infected group (n=53)] were assigned to do the questionnaire on socio-demographic data and personal hygienic behaviors, consisting of eating, cleaning, defecation, and sources of drinking water. The median (range) of age among the infected and non-infected subjects were 14 years (13-20) and 15 years (13-20), respectively.  Overall subjects were under appropriate personal hygiene except habits of eating with hands (61/85, 71.8%).  The possible risk factors were eating of fallen foods (odd ratio (OR) = 2.6 [95% CI: 0.9-7.1]), drinking of tap water (OR= 2.6 [95% CI: 0.9-7.5]), use of unclean towels (OR= 2.4 [95% CI: 0.5-11.4]), walking with barefoot (OR= 2.1 [95% CI: 0.9-5.3]), use of unclean blanket/bed sheets (OR=1.7 [95% CI: 0.2-12.7]), defecation outside toilet (OR= 1.6 [95% CI: 0.03-84.9]), nail biting (OR=1.3 [95% CI: 0.5-3.1]) and eating with hands (OR= 1.3 [95% CI: 0.5-3.5]) (all: p> 0.05). However, only drinking of rainwater was significantly associated with the infection (OR= 3.4 [95% CI: 1.3-8.8]) (p = 0.011).  The application of supportive programs to improve personal hygiene and the knowledge of appropriate drinking water source may prevent the parasitic infection in persons living in the orphanage.

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