Background. Orphans may be envisaged to have sub-optimal care and may be predisposed to high worm burden. This study was under- taken to determine prevalence and intensity of intestinal helminthi- asis in children living in orphanages in Benin City, Nigeria. Methods. Fresh stool samples from 150 children (0-17 years) living in 10 orphanages in Benin City, were analyzed using the Kato-Katz technique for the detection of ova of helminths between January and April, 2011.
Results. The subjects consisted of 62 (41.3%) males and 88 (58.7%) females; mean age (Â± standard deviation SD) 7.0 Â± 4.6 years, and mean (Â± SD) years lived in the orphanage was 4.0 Â± 3.7 years. Prevalence of intestinal helminthiasis was 20.7% and this prevalence was highest in children ages 12-17 years, children who had lived longer years in the orphanages and in orphanages with poor child/care-giver ratio (orphanage F = 12.0: 1 and orphan- age H = 7.3: 1). Mean (Â± SD) age (8.7 Â± 4.5 years) of infected subjects was significantly higher than (6.6 Â± 4.5 years) observed in non-infected subjects (p = 0.023). Ascaris lumbricoides and Trichuris trichiura were the intestinal helminths isolated. Inten- sity of intestinal helminths was light in 24/31 (77.4%) and moder- ate in 7/31 (22.6%) infected subjects. Median egg per gram was 999 eggs per gram and range was 48-8000.
Conclusion. Improved child/care-giver ratio in orphanages will reduce worm burden in orphanages in Benin City.