A large number of children in our country are suffering of worm infestation and this takes a heavy toll on the health of children leading to increased morbidity. We conducted a cross sectional comparative study to know the relationship of Pica with worms infestation of school going children aged 5-10 years in Islamabad/Rawalpindi.
216 children were examined of which there were 101 cases and 115 controls. Children were resident of Rawalpindi/Islamabad examined at our patient department of Federal Government Services Hospital, Islamabad and certain other clinics at Islamabad and Rawalpindi. Children with chronic illness and congenital heart diseases were excluded. Recourses required in research study were limited e.g. lack of funds for biochemical tests to assess the incident of anemia. Because of this drawback we have to rely on gross nutritional parameters like weight and height of the children in the study. Their comparison was made with percentile chart. A questionnaire was furnished for both parameters i.e. cases and controls. Appropriate samples were calculated with power of 80% and precision of 5%, data entered and screened for errors. Using SPSS statistical programme for social scientists and P value was also calculated completed data analysis.
Results showed significant association of males (P=0.005). Pica (P=0.00), abdominal pain (P=0.00) and use of tap water with worm infestation (P=0.003).
This study has revealed that there was strong relationship between Pica and worm infestation. It is recommended that by providing access to clear water to community, worm infestation can be controlled. Besides, measures used to prevent and control the spread of infection by adequate faeces disposal System e.g. Latrines, environmental control through a better drainage system. Community awareness in hygiene specially by focusing on the child’s mother is indispensable. Poverty is the gateway of all kind of diseases, thus special attention towards socio-economic development is the dire need of time for poverty alleviation. Furthermore allocation of more funds for child health and free access to chemotherapy by giving helmenthic drugs to each and every child is utmost necessary.