Assessment of the Effect of Nutritional Status' and Intestinal Parasitic Infection on Academic Performance of Elementary School Children in Teda Town, Gonder, Ethiopia.

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Addis Ababa University


A cross sect ional st udy was conducted invo lving 641 students of the two primary schoo ls of Teda town, North Gonder. The purpose of the study was to determine the nutritional and intesti nal parasitic infect ion (lP I) status of the chil dren, the effect of IPI and nutritional status on the chi Idren's academic performance, and the effect of IPI on nutrition. Data were collected us ing questionnaire and anthropometric measurements. Physical and stool examinations were also carried out. School average scores were obtained from school records. The data were entered, processed and ana lysed using EPI Info vers ion 6, computer software (and its subprogram EPINUT). Underweight and stun ting were found to be 59.S% and 41.7% respectively, whereas the overal l IPI rate was 77.7%. The commonest infection was Ascaris IUl11bricoides with prevalence or 66. 7%, followed by Entameba hi stolytica with prevalence of 14.S%. Low than high pupil s' school average score was signi ficantly associated with underweight, X' = 39.45, (p value < 0.0001), and with stunting, 'X = 19.79, (p < 0.001). Intestinal parasitic infection did not show any associat ion with the nutritional status and school perfo rmance orthe child ren. A higher proportion of the younger than the older age group was underweight, OR = I.S6 (95% CI = 1.32, 2.64). Also higher proportion of the urban students than that of the rural ones were unde rweight, OR = 2.25 (95% CI = 1.59, 3 . IS), and a significantly higher proport ion of the urban than the rural students were stunted. The town and the rural studen ts were not diffe rent regarding to II'I. Th is survey should sensitize concerned bod ies for improving primary school chi ldren's health and nutri tion. Recommendations are made to take actions to alleviate the lPI and nutri tional probl ems of the school children .



Assessment of the Effect of, Nutritional Status