Prevalence of superficial fungal infections among primary school pupils in Awka South Local Government Area of Anambra State

Document Type : Original Articles


1 Department of Parasitology and Entomology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Nigeria

2 Department of Medical Microbiology, Nnamdi Azikiwe University Teaching Hospital, Nnewi, Nigeria


Skin fungal infections are common global problems with attendant morbidity among
affected individuals. Children are mostly affected because of predisposing factors such as
poverty, overcrowding, and lack of guidance. Investigation on the prevalence of
superficial fungal infections among primary school pupils was carried out in Awka South
Local Government Area of Anambra State, Nigeria. Six public primary schools were
selected for this study. The samples were collected by scrapping and use of a sterile swab.
Microscopy and culturing methods were used to identify the infections. Of the 870 pupils
examined, 353 (40.57%) had various skin fungal infections; Tinea capitis 229 (64.87%),
Tinea corporis 96 (27.20%), Tinea faciei 25 (7.08%), and Tinea pedis 3 (0.85%). Sixtyfive
(18.41%) had multiple skin fungal infections; 21 (31.34%) pupils from Obiora
Primary School, Mbaukwu, recorded the highest, while Community Primary School,
Amawbia 3 (7.32%) recorded the least infection (P> 0.05). Two hundred and twenty-nine
pupils (64.87%) had the highest prevalence of Tinea capitis, while 3 (0.85%) pupils had
the least infection recorded for Tinea pedis. Pupils from Central Primary School, Nibo, 82
(56.55%), had the highest prevalence, while 39 (26.90%) pupils from the Central Primary
School, Umuawulu had the least infection. The age group of five to nine years was more
infected than the 10–14-year age group. More male (199 (56.37%)) than females pupils
were infected with skin fungal infections; this difference was not statistically significant.
Poor personal hygiene and intimate association with household pets among the children
were the suspected sources of infection. Therefore, there was an urgent need for mass
treatment of superficial fungal infections in all the primary schools examined.


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