Incidence of Gastrointestinal Parasites among Workers in Major Abattoirs in Port Harcourt, Rivers State, Nigeria
Gastrointestinal parasitic infections are common health problems in sub-Saharan Africa. A cross- sectional study was carried out to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites among workers in major abattoirs in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. These abattoirs are located in Trans-Amadi, Rumuodumaya, Mile III and Easter-by-Pass. Formol-ether concentration technique was used to isolate the ova and cysts from faecal samples. Out of 201 workers (herdsmen, butchers, and cleaners) investigated for the presence of these parasites, 89 (44.2%) were infected with one or more parasites. The prevalence of the parasites among herdsmen and cleaners was significantly (P<0.05) higher. However, there was no significant (P>0.05) difference in the prevalence of gastrointestinal parasites in relation to age. Parasites identified included Ascaris lumbricoide (33.3%), tapeworm (4.97%), Entamoeba histolytica (5.47%), hookworms (13.9%), Trichuris trichiura (9.95%), Gardia lamblia (3.48%), and Schistosoma mansoni (1.9%). The frequency of A. lumbricoide was significantly (P<0.05) higher than other parasites. Many workers (65.2%) had single infection than double (23.6%) and triple infection (11.2%). Sanitary improvements, increased level of personal hygiene, routine surveillance by public health practitioners and veterinary experts as well as hygienic operation using modern technologies to process meat at these abattoirs will go a long way to control occupational gastrointestinal parasites among workers.
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