Background: Enterobius vermicularis (pinworm) infestation is a common condition that primarily affects children.
Aims: The aim of this study was to assess the prevalence of and the risk factors for E. vermicularis infestation in preschool children in north West Bank.
Methods: A cross-sectional study that included the six main governorates in north West Bank was carried out on a sample of 384 preschool children from 86 day-care centres. The perianal cellophane tape method was used to detect E. vermicularis infestation. Parents/guardians of participating children completed a questionnaire to collect information about: demographic characteristics; hygiene behaviour; socioeconomic status; history of previous infestation; and presence of symptoms. Risk factors for infestation were assessed using logistic regression analysis.
Results: Of the 384 children, 85 (22.1%) had E. vermicularis infestation. Age (P = 0.04), governorate (P = 0.01), residency (P = 0.03), number of household members (P < 0.001) and washing hands after toilet use (P = 0.01) were significantly associated with E. vermicularis infestation. In the logistic regression analysis, factors that increased the probability of infection were: living in villages (odds ratio (OR) 2.25; 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.01–5.00), living in a household with ≥ nine family members (OR 3.63; 95% CI: 1.42–9.26) and not washing hands after using the bathroom (OR 2.4; 95% CI: 1.30–4.40).
Conclusions: E. vermicularis is an important helminthic infestation among preschool children in Palestine. Efforts are needed to ensure the availability of treatment for infected children at primary care centres and to reinforce hygiene behaviour.
Keywords: Enterobius vermicularis, prevalence, risk factors; preschool children, Palestine.
Citation: Khayyat R; Belkebir S; Abuseir S; Barahmeh M; Alsadder L; Basha W. Prevalence of and risk factors for Enterobius vermicularis infestation in preschool children, West Bank, Palestine, 2015. East Mediterr Health J. 2021;26(x):xxx–xxx. https://doi.org/10.26719/emhj.19.049