The prevalence of selected gastro-intestinal protozoan parasites among the patients attending the outpatient department of Lira regional referral hospital
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Intestinal protozoan infections are among the common life-threatening parasitic disease affecting 25% of the world population. In Uganda, there is no continuous surveillance system for intestinal protozoan infections hence its real prevalence remains clear in most parts of the country including lango sub-region yet such information is very useful in controlling these parasites. It is with this regard that the study sought to determine the prevalence and risk factors associated with selected gastro-intestinal protozoan parasites amongst the patients attending the Out- patient department of Lira Regional Referral Hospital. The study employed cross sectional survey and collected 72 stool samples for analysis. Macroscopic and microscopic examination of stool was performed to identify fecal protozoan parasites. Data on transmission risk factors was collected through questionnaires. Data was entered in Statistical Package for Social Sciences (SPSS) and analysed to determine relationship between prevalence of intestinal protozoan infections and their associated risk factors. The study revealed that out of 72 stool samples examined at the hospital laboratory during the period January to March 2020, 26(36.6%) stool tests were positive for Amoebiasis (20.8%) and Giardiasis (15.8%)of which 16.72% were adult males while 24.88% were adult females. The most affected age group was the 6 to 10 years at 48.8% in this cross-sectional study. Most of the patients interviewed were farmers (51.4%).Majority of the patients obtained water for domestic use from piped (41.7%) and wells (30.6%). Source of water for domestic use and unhygienic personal practices played a key role in acquiring the parasite. The findings of this study can be used in informing the region health professionals on the extent of intestinal protozoan infections hence help in designing control and preventive measures in lango sub-region. It is therefore recommended that, the government through the ministry of health and /non-governmental organizations should focus on provision safe water and campaigns on improving personal hygiene to combat the disease in lango sub-region.