Survey of nosocomial gastrointestinal protozoa infections among hospitalized patients of a tertiary and a secondary hospital in Awka, Anambra state, Nigeria
Keywords:Nosocomial, Gastrointestinal Protozoa, Hospitalized patients, Prevalence, Anambra, Nigeria
The hospital environment often become contaminated by infectious agents either through patients or hospital sources. This cross-sectional hospital-based study was conducted to survey the epidemiology of nosocomial gastrointestinal protozoa infections among hospitalized patients in a tertiary and a secondary hospital, Awka, Anambra state. Stool samples were collected from 210 admitted patients and analyzed using direct wet mount and formol ether concentration technique. Demographic and risk factor information were gathered using a structured questionnaire. Data was analyzed using Pearson chi-square test and Probability values ≤ 0.05 were considered significant. From the 210 patients examined, 31(14.8%) contracted nosocomial gastrointestinal protozoa infections. Nosocomial gastrointestinal protozoa infection was recorded in all two hospitals with the tertiary hospital (COOUTH) having the highest infection prevalence of 15.7% at an occurrence rate of 80.6%. Female gender, 10-19years of age, patients with longer admission duration had more prevalent rates of 16.2%, 28.6% and 89.5% respectively. Also, patients admitted in the paediatric ward, those with only primary education and those who don’t always wash their hands before introducing any substance into the mouth had higher prevalence of 20.0%, 25.0% and 20.7% respectively. Nosocomial gastrointestinal protozoa infection was strongly associated with duration of hospital stay and hand washing habits P˂0.05. Among the five protozoa parasites seen, Entamoeba histolytica was the most prevalent 18(58.1%). There is an urgent need for improved patients and health workers personal hygiene, hospital sanitation, and the use of safer medical practices to stop the spread of nosocomial infection.