Prevalence and Risk Factors of Pediculosis in Primary School Children in South West of Iran
Background: Pediculosis or louse infestation is a public health problem in many developing countries where the WHO`s primary health-care program is inefficient and haphazard. The present study aimed to determine the prevalence of Pediculus capitis infestation and its related risk factors in the primary school children in Andimeshk, Dezful and Shoosh counties; Khuzestan Province, Iran.
Methods: Overall, 28410 students in the age range of 7-11 years old in primary schools of North of Khuzestan Province, southern Iran were examined individually and privately under the flash light for all life cycle stages of lice or their nits in 2016. A questionnaire was filled for each school child before hair examination; then examination was carried out to detect head lice as well as eggs/nits.
Results: Overall, 2995 students (10.5%) were infested with pediculosis. There was a significant difference in the prevalence of pediculosis among the boys and girls students. The prevalence of infestation was also significantly (P<0.05) higher in students of living in nomad tribes (23.8%) in comparison of rural (12.4%) and urban areas (6.5%).
Conclusion: Several risk factors significantly (P<0.05) related to pediculosis included gender of female, nomad habitat, parents education, father's occupation, having health staff, history of infestation and number of combing per day. Increasing awareness and training of teachers and relatives, as well as for improving standards of personal health, can significantly reduce the prevalence of pediculosis.
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