What do mothers of urban slum know about worm infestation? Does literacy play a role?

Bharati L. Makwana, Kalpita S. Shringarpure, Samarth A. Shihora


Background: In India, intestinal parasitic infestation is the most important problem of public health concern. Parasitic worm infestation among children is one of causes of undernourishment. The high prevalence may be due to poor sanitation, lack of awareness regarding transmission and treatment of disease and poor hygiene.

Methods: This was a cross-sectional study, conducted during the month of December 2016. All women having at-least one child below six years of age residing in the field practice area attached to urban health training centre of our medical college were interviewed. Data collected were entered in Microsoft Office Excel 2007.

Results: A total of 361 mothers were interviewed of whom, 81% were aware of the disease. Those mothers who had ever heard of the disease were further interviewed. Of these, 54% of them were literate and 46% were illiterate. Comparing the literacy status, 26% literate mothers and 36% of the illiterate gave correct answers. Twelve percent of the literate mothers had correct attitude toward prevention of worm infestation. Almost three-fourths (71%) of the women had incorrect attitude for prevention of the disease. Eighty eight percent mothers consulted doctors.

Conclusions: Majority of the mothers was aware about occurrence of intestinal worm infestations but they had incorrect knowledge about its causes, symptoms, preventive measures and treatment. The literacy status of mothers does not make any difference in knowledge and practice regarding worm infestation.




Intestinal worm infestation, Literacy, Illiteracy

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